Friday, January 12, 2007

It is hard out here

We gone on down the road don’t you know, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers?

Have you heard Los Angeles’ new motto? “We don’t stink nearly as much as New York.”

Like really mature
New York was shrouded in a horrible smell Monday. New York officials say the source of yesterday’s nasty odor came from New Jersey; New Jersey officials denied that and replied; “He who smelt it dealt it.”

To which New York responded; “He who denied it supplied it.”

Home run record holder Mark McGwire was denied induction to the baseball Hall of Fame because of alleged steroid use. McGwire was so angry at the steroid charges, he told the Hall-of-Fame voters that they could kiss his glowing testicles.

Revenge of the Nerd
Steve Jobs has unveiled Apple's new iPhone, a mobile phone Jobs designed that plays iTunes, surfs the Web, and it has a special feature that turns it into a Taser to stun the jocks who gave him a wedgie when he was a kid.

Fire bad
Home run record holder Mark McGwire was turned down by the baseball Hall of Fame; McGwire was turned down because of steroid allegations, this infuriated McGwire so much he stormed down from the castle and attacked a mob of torch carrying villagers.  

An important factor
Mr. Blackwell has announced his Worst Dressed List. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton tied for the worst dressed. Apparently Mr. Blackwell considers panties somewhat important.    

Not good
The bad news for Camilla Parker Bowles is that she finished second on Mr. Blackwell’s Worst Dressed list. The worse news is that Camilla finished third on Blackwell’s worst dressed list for men.  

The Seattle Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-20 due to Cowboy QB, Tony Romo’s dropping the field goal snap. That was the most painful example of a dropped ball since I was in fifth grade when Ricky Horchner tried to jump his alley’s fence on his bike.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It is hard out here

Stick wit it ‘til you hit it, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

The name game
In New York there was a gaseous smell all around the city. You know what you call a foul smelling gas in New Jersey? New Jersey.

Just don’t do it, baby
Glidden paints now offers house paint in the colors of your favorite NFL team. Except for the Oakland Raiders’ silver and black. Those colors will only paint the bathroom.

The government has approved an anti-obesity drug for dogs, Slentrol. It’s made by the makers of Viagra. Don’t mix up Slentrol with Viagra or your dog will throw you a bone.

According to the New York Post, Rosie O’Donnell screamed liar at Barbara Walters in the makeup room before “The View.” That is a shock. Rosie was in the makeup room?

Bad choice
The Florida Gators beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 41-14 thanks in part to Ohio State going for it on fourth down and not making it. That has to be the worst decision since “The View” decided to broadcast in Hi Def.

Imagine that?
Paris Hilton ran out of gas in Beverly Hills. Apparently Paris’s tank was the only thing that didn’t get pumped.

Who can tell?
In trying to find tax cuts for middle income families, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was amazed to discover people owe $300 billion in back taxes. Pelosi was shocked, but due to her face lift, it was impossible to tell.

For those people
After the NFL playoffs on Sunday, viewers tuned to NBC’s new reality show where contestants try and win leading roles on Broadway’s “Grease” called “You’re the One That I Want” This is for people who “Skating with the Stars” just wasn’t gay enough.

Easy, Mel
There was a huge fire in Malibu. Mel Gibson blamed it on a post-Chanukah-smoldering Manorah.

What a deal?
Paris Hilton turned down an offer to produce life-sized Paris Hilton replica sex dolls for $50,000 each. So far $50,000, you could have had sex with a fake Paris Hilton doll, which costs about $49,900 more than it costs to have sex with the real Paris Hilton.

I love L.A.
Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” premiered on Sunday. The Apprentice is a little different in Los Angeles, instead of saying “You’re fired” Trump says; “You’re Mesquite Grilled.”

Fire bad
Home run record holder Mark McGwire was turned down by the baseball Hall of Fame; McGwire was turned down because of steroid allegations, this infuriated McGwire so much he stormed down from the castle and attacked a mob of torch carrying villagers.

It is an honor to be mentioned in these fine sites. Check out Home Fries up in this here:,0,5546350.story?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines

And here:

And here:

And here:

And here:

Uh huh, dat's right, you can call me World. Yo, dat's how we roll, aaaahhhiiiiight?

One, punch a hole in the box

Two, stuff your junk in the box

Three, take the lid off the box, ewwwwwwww

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It is hard out here

This just in:

OK, I just saw the clip of The Donald on “Conan” and I take it back. Trump is the bad guy. Rosie is no bed of roses, but this guy is a lying gas bag. The guy lied about his agreement with O’Brien and then sat there and accused Conan of lying on his own show. Now I know I could not be a talk show host. If some orange faced douche-bag lied on my show and then accused me of lying, I would say;

“OK, hay for hair, not only are you here to whore your awful show, but you now are lying and accusing me of lying about what we agreed to talk about, so get the hell out of here.”

Seriously, I would call security and have the puffy stuffed shirt physically removed from the set. And then he would sue thus stopping production, the show would go out of business and that is why I could not have my own talk show.  

Rosie, please forgive me. I had no idea.
We done gone and did it ‘till we quit it, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Uh, no Sir, that’s not, oh forget it
A German court handed a 15-year sentence to an accessory of the attacks of September 11th. It was a little awkward, when informed of the accessory’s sentence President Bush said; “We should not let this case damage the image of the fine Accessorian people.”

Times Square isn’t the only place to watch a ball drop
The Seattle Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-20 due to Cowboy QB, Tony Romo’s dropping the field goal snap. Romo blew the game with a dropped ball. On the bright side he was named an honorary Chicago Cubs fan.

That was the most painful dropped ball since Ricky Horchner tried to jump his alley’s fence on his bike.

Where has the time gone?
Vice President Dick Cheney is going hunting today. Is it already lawyer season? Time flies.

Can you tell I grew up near Northwestern?
Last week Texas Tech got their volatile coach Bobby Knight a college basketball record 880 wins. It goes to show that good things happen to good people but also to Bobby Knight.

Since you asked:
If there is a record for being a couch tumor I may have set it last weekend. Too many football games for my own good. Some of them I even gave a damn about.

Saturday night, after grilling the most awesome ribs I’ve ever made – I will discuss my secret later – we watched “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” Holds up pretty darn good. It was so good, the next night I watched the version narrated by the screenwriter, William Goldman. Awesome.

As I am a movie trivia nut, I could not get enough of this. It had a little bit of a factor of the old saying of sausage and legislation, if you ever want to appreciate either ever again, don’t watch them being made. Some of the information took away some of the fantasy but mostly it was fascinating. The music is a little corny and dated. Catchy, but corny.

William Goldman is a hoot. I’ve read a book of his on screenwriting and he is a character. Considering his incredible success, Goldman sounds very matter-of-fact and modest, especially by Hollywood standards. His list of screen plays is long and includes “All The Presidents Men” and “Princess Bride” just to name two.

But Goldman’s candor about stars has landed him in hot water. He calls a spade a spade and an assh*le and assh*le. Some movie stars you love to hear him call world class jerks – Dustin Hoffman – and others really disappoint you when you find out what annoying schmucks they are – Steve McQueen.

Goldman relished talking about “Towering Inferno” because it illustrated why he loved Paul Newman so much and hated Steve McQueen so much. Initially Newman was set to play the part of the fire chief, but McQueen threw such a hissy fit that he wanted that role so, being the nice guy that he is, Newman gave it to him but ended up stealing the movie anyway because he was Paul Newman.

Goldman’s insights into “BCATSK” truly reveal how close a great movie can be to a bad movie. A change in scene here, a touch of dialogue there and your entire opinion of a character and the movie can change. It illustrates that nobody knows when they have really made a hit. Goldman says the reviews for “Butch” were horrible. (Goldman, like everybody else, hates critics) It wasn’t until Goldman went to a regular showing in Manhattan and heard the fans raving in the lobby afterwards that Goldman realized it would not be a complete flop.

(To illustrate how a movie can be great or horrible see: “Tombstone” and don’t see “Wyatt Earp” Or the awesome “Without Limits” versus the awful “Pre” both about the same guy, Steve Prefontaine. Casting, music, filming, dialogue choices, it all makes a huge difference )

Paul Newman was supposed to play the Sundance Kid and they had Marlon Brando set for Butch – according to Goldman, Brando was even more of flake than advertised and he was known to be a wildly huge flake. That movie would have sucked. The producer hated the choice of Redford for Sundance saying effectively you could throw a stick on a beach in Malibu and hit three Redfords.

Apparently the real Sundance Kid was quite the scary dude. He was a drunk and a bloodthirsty killer. Not the rock star gunslinger that we see in the movie. But Butch was just like Paul Newman, according to Goldman, likeable and funny.

Goldman and director George Roy Hill cannot say enough nice things about Newman which sort of damned Redford with faint-to-absent praise. Nobody apparently thought too much about Katherine Ross other than remarking how pretty she was. (The scene where the Kid makes Edda Place strip at gunpoint was a pivotal one in my adolescence. For years I packed gum in the side of my jaw to imitate Sundance’s chaw )

Get a load of this. Both the writer, Goldman, and the director, George Roy Hill, were horrified at the audience reaction to the first screening. They said they laughed too much. They actually went back and edited the movie to be a lot less funny. There were some truly funny scenes. My favorite outside of “I can’t swim” was when they arrive in Bolivia and Sundance is smolderingly furious at what a dump the area around the station is. For people who say Redford cannot act, check this scene out. He does a great job.

“It could be worse. You get a lot more for your money in Bolivia, I checked on it”

“What could they have here that you could possibly want to buy?”

Reminds me of when I arrived at Long Beach City College.

I remember the weekend after the movie opened in the Chicago suburbs, everyone at my Crow Island elementary school thought they were the coolest and funniest person alive because they could parrot the line; “I couldn’t do that? Could you do that? How can they do that?” and of course, “Who are those guys?” That movie was a true social phenomenon.

It also shows that movie experts, whether they are the director, producer, the writer and especially the critics, do not look for what normal people look for in a movie. The writer, Goldman, wanted to keep it as true to history as possible and make Sundance a scary psycho character just like just Johnny Ringo in “Tombstone” because that was what historians said was reality; but George Roy Hill knew that would have killed the relationship with Butch and the Kid.

Goldman had a scene he fought to keep where Butch completely broke down in tears, depression and existential angst after they shot the Bolivian bandits when they tried to go straight as payroll guards. Again, GRH talked him out of that movie-murdering scene. The director, Hill, deserves a ton of credit for “BCATSK”.

What the makers of the film thought they had was a huge breakthrough first-ever film about flawed Western heroes who ran from their pursuers rather than having a big showdown. What a load of over-thinking Hollywood B.S. What they really had was the world’s first buddy flick. No way “Lethal Weapon” or all the other buddy flicks happen without “Butch.”

The writer and the director argued and argued over the scene that won over movie goers in the beginning: Butch’s knife fight with that big guy who played Lurch in “The Adams Family”. George Roy Hill couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that Sundance would let his great friend get in a fight that would surely kill him. For me, if Sundance interjects on Butch’s behalf, it makes Butch’s character too weak and Sundance’s too tough. Their friendship was balanced.

The other aspect that they were smart to leave alone was the three way relationship with a couple and their single pal. They were going to have Edda sleep with Butch. That would have killed the whole movie. That unusual relationship was a huge aspect of the film’s allure. Heck, it even inspired the classic and great football novel “Semi-Tough”

(You want to see Hollywood ruin a great story, first read the hilarious football book by great sports writer, Dan Jenkins, “Semi-Tough” and then go rent the movie with Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson. They couldn’t have ruined that book more if that was their primary goal. Why somebody doesn’t do the book justice and make a remake I have no idea)

By the way, the guy and girlfriend hanging-out-with-a-single-guy-thing in real life is not a real easy fit. I’ve tried on both sides on a number of occasions. Competition, jealousy, pride, flirting, all of that works against the three of you.

Another huge factor in a movie being a hit is luck.

“Butch” had all the right elements to fall apart because all three of the primary actors had such strong egos and ideas on how they wanted their character to appear. If it wasn’t for the fact that director George Roy Hill was a real life tough guy Marine fighter pilot hero, it would have splintered off into circuitous tangents. He was the only one who could intimidate Redford and Newman and Ross. This is the reason why Redford and Newman never appeared together again in any movie by another director. (GRH directed them again in “The Sting.”)

My Aunt, Mary Gus, is a good friend of famous author Elmore Leonard. My wife, Virg, and I got to spend an entire day around Christmas time a few years ago chatting with him. What a treat. Amazing guy. Brilliant but very friendly, warm, Midwestern and down-to-earth. (He once asked my Aunt to ask my permission to use the expression my Aunt quoted me using as a term for creating havoc, “Tossing the Baby Ruth into the pool” for one of his books. It broke my heart to admit to him I didn’t create the term, the movie “Caddy Shack” did)

Anyway, Elmore – or Dutch as, we, his good friends (oh brother) call him – was describing to us why he hates making movies, just like Goldman. Dutch was on the set of his first big time Hollywood movie based on a book he wrote, “Stick” He described how Burt Reynolds’ people – not Burt, mind you, his people - would approach him to totally rewrite entire scenes. One example was;

“Mr. Reynolds wants you to write a scene where he wrestles an alligator.”

Mr. Leonard politely replied to Reynolds flunky;

“But there isn’t a scene like that in the book.”

Guess what? Eventually Dutch had to write a really inane alligator scene.

When the reviews came out the critics all panned the story as disjointed proclaiming, although Leonard was a talented novelist, he couldn’t write a decent screen play. How unfair is that?

Didn’t you think being a movie star would be a total gas? I did. Both Elmore Leonard and William Goldman say movie making is truly awful. Taken together, for me, that is the gospel. Goldman says the process is achingly boring and slow and the tension is unbearable. The actors, director and crew wants to make every scene as great as humanly possible but the producers want to make it for as little money as possible. The two goals simply do not jibe. Throw in the fact that you have, according to Goldman, with few exceptions, a bunch of under-educated, hung-over, hyper-sensitive, vain ego-maniac actors trying to steal every shot of every scene and you get the ugly picture.

Hollywood may be high school with money, but it sounds like movie sets are kindergarten with cocaine and prozac.

Hearing Leonard's wonderful story about filming "Stick" made it easy to see why “Get Shorty’ was so great. It was the truth.

So that, Slat and Nuggies, is the long and windy version of why I don’t write for big time studios.
That and the fact that no studio has asked me to.

But if they did, I would strain myself changing my mind and saying yes. God, I am a comedy writing whore.

Oh, the ribs.

Brine marinate for a couple hours.

Put the ribs on a pan and give them a strong rub of granulated garlic powder, cumin, pepper, paprika for color. Pour some beer on the bottom of the pan. Place them in an oven at 200 degrees for four hours.

Finish them on a Weber grill with Mesquite lump charcoal, lid on, holes open and slather with your own barbeque sauce every ten minutes for about forty-five minutes. My BBQ sauce has a peach marmalade base with grilled chopped onion and a little white vinegar and Worstestsh, Wurstesteshi, Wortesestes, that great steak sauce, and a dash of mustard and ketchup.

Add baked beans, cornbread biscuits, a fruit salad and a frosty, cold beer and Bob is your freakin' Uncle. Then play poker after. Or watch "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

Who are those guys?
It gonna go how it go don’t you know, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Oui, oui
French President Jacques Chirac criticized the U.S. military action in Iraq. Chirac went on to criticize good hygiene, space travel and other things the French know nothing about.

French President Jacques Chirac criticized the U.S. military action in Iraq. Isn’t getting a military action criticized by the French sort of like getting hair care secrets from Donald Trump?

French President Jacques Chirac criticized the U.S. military action in Iraq. When asked to comment, about Chirac’s comments on Iraq, President Bush said; “Chirac and Iraq. Heh, heh, that rhymes funny.”

Uh, not exactly
Britney Spears has agreed to joint custody of her children with their father, Kevin Federline; it was awkward, when first informed he had joint custody, K-Fed said; “Cool, spark it up.”

On the tip of my tongue
64-year-old Harrison Ford is set to star in the fourth Indiana Jones movie. You can tell Indiana Jones is getting older, this one is titled; “Indiana Jones And, oh shoot, what’s the name again? I just had it.”

64-year-old Harrison Ford is set to star in the fourth Indiana Jones movie. You can tell Indiana Jones is getting older, this one is titled; “Indiana Jones: What Did I Come In Here For?”

That explains it
The government has approved of an anti-obesity drug for dogs. Its name is Slentrol but I think we all know the real name of the anti-obesity drug for dogs is called: “Why Countries Hate Us.”

I love L.A. Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” premiered on Sunday. “The Apprentice” is different in Los Angeles. For example, Donald Trump’s comb-over has a convertible top.

L. Lo
Lindsay Lohan had to have her appendix removed. Yeah, apparently Lindsay’s appendix did a lot of drugs, crashed cars, got drunk all the time and generally acted like an idiot, so it had to go.

That is when you know you’ve been partying too hard when your appendix wants out.

Women lay down the law
For the first time a woman, Nancy Pelosi, is speaker of the House of Representatives; legislation has begun on a new bill that would make it illegal to leave the toilet seat up.

Legislation has begun on a new bill that would make it illegal to get lost and not stop and ask directions.

Legislation has begun on a new bill that would make it illegal to reply to the question “Does this make me look fat?” with anything other than no.

Warm streak
The weather has been crazy warm back East. Today in Washington, D.C. a huge chunk broke off of Hillary Clinton.

Not safe
The New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey continued running with a catch after his helmet was torn off. This was the most danger Shockey has had due to being unprotected since he dated Paris Hilton.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It is hard out here

They did what they done and they done what they do, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Just like that
Mike McConnell was named by President Bush to be the director of national intelligence. Got that? Bush named the director of national intelligence. That’s like Bill Clinton naming the national director of celibacy.

Mike McConnell was named director of national intelligence. The position of director of national intelligence is not easy. At Washington dinner parties you get a lot of “Hey, director of national intelligence, you’re using the wrong fork with your salad.”

Mike McConnell was named director of national intelligence. The position of director of national intelligence is not easy. At parties you get a lot of ; “Hey, director of intelligence, what’s the capital of Kentucky? No, not Louisville, Frankfort. Director of intelligence my ass.”

Not reliable
Britney Spears predicts she will come back bigger and better. And I predict Britney will. But remember, I predicted that Rap, cell phones and Oprah would never make it big.

So sexist
For the first time, the House of Representatives was controlled by a woman, Nancy Pelosi. It was wild, the House voted to have a sleep over, braid their hair and freeze the bras of the first representatives to fall asleep.

How do I get at that cash?
It has been reported that Mary-Kate Olsen is down to 80 pounds and that she has fired her $2000-a-day eating coach. How do you get a job as an eating coach? Do you get promoted from being a breathing coach?  

Iraqi officials are looking into charges that Saddam Hussein was verbally abused before his execution. That verbal abuse had to be pretty bad if it was worse than hanging a guy.

Get it? Flat feet
64-year-old Harrison Ford is going to make the fourth Indiana Jones film. I think this one is called “Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Arch.”

I think this one is called “Indiana Jones And The Colonoscopy of Doom.”

Can’t wait
“VH1” is going to make a reality show based on a group of white rappers. I believe the name of the show is “My Worst Nightmare.”

An interesting time
The NFL Wild Card playoffs were this weekend. It was exciting, the Indianapolis Colts had to figure out how to stop the Chiefs run, the New England Patriots had to figure out how to pass against the Jets and the Oakland Raiders have to ask shoppers; “Paper or plastic?”

How you tell
There is a reality show where a woman tries to figure out if a guy is gay, straight or married. That’s easy, you can tell by what a guy watched on New Years Day. If he watched football, he’s straight, if he watched Oprah, he’s married and if he watched Brian Botano’s skating special, he’s gay.