Friday, December 30, 2016

Vladimir Putin will not retaliate to our expelling 35 Russian diplomats. Or at least that is what the virus the Russian hackers gave us said. 

In response to Russia hacking our election, President Obama has expelled 35 Russian operatives. And it turns out Tom Arnold is one of them. 

Ryan Gosling is going to star in a movie about Neil Armstrong. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for horny women.”

Somehow Tom Arnold has managed to work his way into the news. “That Tom Arnold is great,” said an extremely wrong person in 1994. 

Tom Arnold is challenging Russian hackers to produce Donald Trump’s taxes. Because if there is one person we can trust with vital information, it is the guy who married Roseanne Barr.

Tennis great, Serena Williams, is engaged to Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian. Not to say they’re an odd couple, but picture Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” engaged to Xena the Princess Warrior. 

Russian president Vladimir Putin did not retaliate for the US expelling 35 Russian diplomats. Putin loves the US so much, he would give us the shirt off his back that he isn’t wearing.   

A Delta flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles had to return to the airport to unload an unruly couple. But they might have fit in Los Angeles, it’s the only city where firing a gun is considered an acceptable lane change indicator. 

Since you asked:

Anthony Bourdain said something amazingly insightful and compassionate about the red states from his rich, leftwing New York perspective. And he trashed Bill Maher as a bubble-living, snobby a-hole. 

AB, you is off my “I would pay to slap him” list forever. 

What is the name for when you keep something around - either a computer file, gadget or a coupon or a document -  until it gets in the way so much, you think of tossing it out or deleting it? But, low and behold, the day comes when you need it?

But then you cannot find it? 

What is that called? Oh yeah. Life. 

The Last Crazy Resort

Just after the turn of the century, around 1915, in my hometown of Winnetka, Illinois, a big hotel went up they named The North Shore Health Resort. 

It was red brick. It was fancy. It was huge. It was right on the lake. Exactly why they thought a luxury spa and hotel a 30 minute drive from downtown Chicago and its four months of rough winter was a moneymaking idea, who knows?

The resort tried to be all things to all people. A spa as well as a hotel as well as a place for convalescence. Eventually the guests did like being around all the sick people so it slowly morphed into a sanitarium and finally into a mental hospital specializing in the most extreme cases. Including violent psychopaths. 

It was as if the hotel itself slowly went crazier and crazier over time. By the time we lived there, in the Sixties, it was named the North Shore Hospital and it was primarily for institutionalized mental patients. Including, as I mentioned, violent psychopaths. 

(One of my oldest friends swears, when he was a kid, he had seen people wearing straightjackets, but I am calling BS based on his shaky history of story telling)

Having a nuthouse in your hometown was about as cool and as creepy as it gets for a little kid. There was a huge gate around the place. As a child, it creeped me out simply to look at it when we drove by. But you would see patients in white robes being guided by orderlies or being pushed in wheel chairs. It looked exactly like all the mental hospitals depicted in the old movies. 

But the rumors were it was must like "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest" on the inside. Or even worse. Violent electric shock, mind-numbing drugs and even labotomies were allegedly used. 

The North Shore Hospital could not have been nearly as comfy as they advertised because patients were trying to escape all the time. When one did escape, the town went into police lockdown until they were found. 

Tales of mistreatment by the orderlies and sex scandals abounded. 

One pre-dawn September morning in 1966, in a lake front mansion just south of the North Shore Hospital, there was a brutal murder. Illinois millionaire and one of the youngest Senators ever, Charles Percy’s pretty and Cornell-graduate 21-year-old daughter, Valerie, in a town with no violent crimes, was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in her bed. Stabbed 30 times and brutally beaten. The step mother came upon what she thought was a thief in the hallway.  She said he was dressed in a checkered or stripped shirt. 

The more dangerous patients wore striped shirts to identify them at the North Shore Hospital. 

By the time of the Percy murder, the hospital was in serious financial straits. It might make sense someone would try to cover-up such a heinous crime that would have shuttered the place for sure.

They never caught Valerie's murderer, but they did find footprints leading from the house North on the beach back to the hospital. A year later the hospital closed. A year later it was torn down.

By 1969 it was turned into what is now Centennial Park commemorating Winnetka's 100th anniversary.  For whatever reason, it is landscaped with weird mounds that make it look like an Indian burial ground. (An actual Indian burial ground was less than a mile away where they built at Indian Hills Country Club the inspiration of the Murray brothers for "Caddy Shack") 

Ghost sightings in the park were too numerous to keep track of. For a long time the listing price of houses on either side of Centennial Park did not fetch as much as they should have for a lake front mansion due the rumors of late night moaning and spirit sightings. According to rumors. 

(This really should be developed into a movie treatment, which I am going to do. A movie about how a hotel lost its mind and caused a grisly, brutal unsolved celebrity murder. "The Shining" meets "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest" meets "Jagged Edge." 

It will be a comedy, of course. 

And the title, "The Last Crazy Resort," is a nod to the Eagles "The Last Resort." It has been an ardent dream of mine to be litigated against by Irving Azoff)

P.S. Short list of one time employees of the Teatro Del Lago, the movie theater nearest the North Shore Hospital:

Senator Charles Percy

Ann Margaret Olson

Rock Hudson

Bruce Dern

Charlton Heston