Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Morning Caffiene Fueled Rant Without the Coffee

Watching “American Idol” judges humiliate those poor, misguided but generally sweet contestants made me realize, especially with Simon Cowell, that the only qualification somebody needs to be a nasty critic, and probably the only qualification they have, is a birth certificate.

If I may, I would like to quote the great Triumph the Insult Comic Dog from “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” when he met “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell;

“You tell people they have no talent? That’s like vomit telling poop that it stinks.”

Memo to "A.I." Judges: Would it have killed you to just take that poor girl's "Wizard of Oz" sign?

Lex's pix

So, Lexter Dexter, you ask, who do you, you Fantasy Football money-making-maven, who do you, with all your vast football expertise, think will win this weekend?

Well, first of all, if you ever call me Lexter Dexter again, I am coming through this screen to ho slap you.

Secondly, I want to see Peyton Manning beat the cocky we-are-as-sick-of-your-boring-winning-ass-as-we-were-of-the-Forty-Niners-back-when-they-didn’t-suck New England Patriots. But my Peyton cheering is qualified. He is a big crybaby. It is so annoying how he angrily gestures at his recievers for not catching his ball as if their poor route is always the cause of any incompletion. And remember how last year he threw his entire o-line under the buss to the press after his last in a long line of playoff losses?

They showed an old family film of Peyton playing football with his brothers around age 5 and sure enough, he whined, cried and screamed at his older brother Cooper for tackling him the wrong way. Ah ha, I thought. That explains a lot.

That doesn’t mean it is going to happen, I just want it to happen. Those Patriots are bloodless drones.

Needless to say I am for my hometown Bears but Rex scares the Grossman out of me. And all that New Orleans Saints sentimental Katrina crap got old before it got old. The Saints have about as much to do with the rebuilding of New Orleans as talent and charm has to do with the Rosie and Trump bitch fest. That annoying Saints owner was packed and ready to bolt Nawhlens before Katrina.

And I got fifty bucks on Dah Bearsssssssss. So there it is. It’s the Dahs versus the Dats. Dah Bearsssss versus “Who Dat Think They Gonna Beat Them Saints”?

A word on the line

The Chicago Bears are 2 ½ favorites over the New Orleans Saints. It is important to remember that the line is not what football experts think a team will win by. The line is where the betting will even out at 50-50. So the gamblers determine the line. So when you have such an overwhelming sentimental favorite, as we have with the Saints, that line can be way off.

Give the 2 ½

Friday, January 19, 2007

It is hard out here

Rock steady, Freddy, Betty and Teddy and Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

How cold was it?
It was so cold this morning I was chattering so much I was named an honorary host of “The View.”

Man it is cold. In Beverly Hills, women are injection their lips with a combination of collagen and anti-freeze.

Man it is cold. In Beverly Hills, women with Botox in their face are having their cheeks break off.

Get it?
A 72-year-old man is attempting to qualify to for the Daytona 500. Who is going to be his sponsor, Metamucil or Aleve? Depends.

He does pretty well when he isn’t screaming out “Hey, this is a neighborhood, slow down.”

There is a company, Internet Strategies, that instructs people how to use the Internet. In fact, they are so good, they can actually teach people how to get on the Internet without seeing a picture of Britney Spears’s vagina.

She showed them
The reigning Miss New Jersey USA had to resign because she is pregnant; and they say there is no talent section at the Miss USA pageant.

Go figure
Happy Birthday to Muhammad Ali who is 65. His friends and family gave Muhammad a motor home. For some reason, airline travel just hasn’t been convenient for a guy named Muhammad.

Look ma, no hands
England’s soccer star David Beckham has signed to play for the L.A. Galaxy for $250 million dollars. That is the most money anybody has received without having to use their hands since Al Reynolds married Star Jones.

That was tough to watch
The premiere of “American Idol” was last night and, at times, it was agonizing, embarrassing and frustrating. And that was just from seeing Ryan Seacrest pretend to flirt with the hot women.

Bun in the open oven
Rumor has it that Britney Spears is pregnant again, four months after having her last baby. OK, that’s it, time to put some panties on, Britney.

Even rabbits are saying, wow, give that poor thing a rest.

Rehab shmehab
A Sacramento radio show was pulled off the air after a promotional stunt resulted in a woman dying of water intoxication. Upon hearing this, a drunk Lindsay Lohan said; “I told you that stuff could kill you.”

Do the math
A man in Illinois set the world record for riding a stationary bike for 85 hours straight; that is actually 170 hours in riding-a-stationary-bike time.

To give you how slow time passes when you ride a stationary bike, after riding a stationary bike for 85 hours, the guy was actually one year younger. He went back in time.

That is the most effort anyone has put in that has gotten them nowhere since John Kerry ran for President.

It’s a French thang
French President Jacques Chirac cannot decide if wants to run for another term. Chirac might just quit, retreat and surrender the election, which of course, in France, would get him re-elected by a landslide.

Bitter Sweet
Monday there was a very touching Golden Globe acceptance speech by “Ugly Betty” actress America Ferrera. That had to be a bitter-sweet moment when she got the starring role of “Ugly Betty.” That’s like a guy getting the lead role of a sitcom called “Little Penis Larry.”

Since you asked:
My God, “30 Rock” is getting funnier. The corporate big cheese, Alec Baldwin’s Ted Donaghy has switched places for the day with lowly page Kenneth and he gets one of the stars of the show the wrong salad. When he asks the star if he wants another salad the star replies;

“OK, I’m supposed to treat you like I treat Kenneth, right? Of course I want another salad, you idiot. That or bring me a time machine so I can go back and slap your mother for smoking crack when she was pregnant with you.”

Then he asks the-standing-in-the-doorway Kenneth if that was too much and Kenneth assures him it was just how it normally goes.

And Tina Fey’s Liz finds out she is a hair. Trust me, see the show.

Can you remember when you turned into a hair? (In “30 Rock” the hair is the cool guy and the head is the bald dork)

I can.

For the longest time I thought I was a shy head masquerading as a cocky jock hair. Even when I was the starting running back on the freshman football team, after the Saturday games all the other kids on the team would go to parties but I just wanted to sit in my room and watch old black and white movies and eat candy.

One Saturday night, my Dad walked in and asked if I was OK with not going to parties. Truth was, I was fine with it. At that time, I didn’t want to grow all the way up. Just being in high school and playing football and competing in track was plenty on my plate. Bless his heart, Dad was visibly worried I was turning into a dateless nerd like my older brother. He wanted me to go to parties.

(Parents, let that be a lesson to you: be careful what you wish for. Three years later and three non-injury near-totaling car wrecks, nine girlfriends and one wild fight with a rival school's football team that resulted in the police arriving and one serious case of alcohol poisoning later, Dad got much more than he asked for)

But for then, most of my freshman year, I was content to eat Marathon Bars, Snickers, drink Seven Up and watch "Creature Features" on WGN.

Then I went to my first cool person party that spring.

An older guy on the track team, who was really cool, invited the entire track team to his cool-person party. As I was a 13-year-old freshman, I rode my bike to the party and hid it in the bushes so nobody would see.

Somehow I even finagled a six pack of Old Style beer and I remember halfway through my first beer thinking there was no way possible that I was going to drink the whole can, let alone the entire six pack.

The house was a really nice one in Wilmette, right across from the Bahai Temple by Lake Michigan and the basement, resplendent with modern furniture, pool tables and pin ball machines, seemed like Hef’s grotto to me.

All of us freshman track dorks huddled together as we marveled at the cool juniors smoking, drinking, laughing and generally being worlds cooler than we were. As the night progressed some of the boys and girls coupled up and started making out. To me this was the fall of Rome. It seemed like a week ago girls had cooties. The one and only gorgeous Becky Prince, whom I had lusted over endlessly in church (sorry god) was on the couch making out with a tall skinny distance runner with another skinny distance runner - Brian Palmer can verify this - on the floor sucking on her toes.

(Cue: “Three Dog Nights version of Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”)

Emboldened by my second beer, I got up to play pinball. One of the upper classman’s dates, a really pretty short girl with wavy long brown hair wearing jeans and a grey cashmere sweater and she was slathered in way too much perfume that made her smell approximately like heaven, asked if she could play pin ball with me. Gulp. Uh. Yeah. Sure. I guess so. I was having a very huge Tom Hanks in “Big” slumber party moment.

At the time I was concentrating on actually beating her at pin ball when I started to notice she seemed to be bumping into me a lot making it really hard to play. Then she grabbed me and kissed me. Not just a kiss, but we were standing in front of the pinball machine, dare I say it, making out.

Like it was yesterday, I can remember swimming in her strawberry lip gloss, flowery perfume, thick silky hair and soft sweater. This, my friends, was good.

Now, the problem here - besides the circus that had now arrived in my blue jeans - was the guy who took her to the party wasn’t just three years older – and at 13 to 16, that difference is huge enough - but he was a real big strong guy all on his own. And hairy as hell. Sure enough, he stormed over and asked her what she thought she was doing. She said something like scram. Frozen with overload, I didn’t say anything.

Luckily he didn’t blame me, he focused his jealousy on her. She ended leaving with him because he had a car and I had a bike, but not until she and I did a lot more serous making out, yessireeebob.

(Cue: Circus music)

God bless her, whoever she was.

As I crawled back into the bushes to unlock my bike from the tree, strapping my four extra beers still in the plastic six pack holder to my belt like hand grenades, as Bill Murray would copy years later in “Caddy Shack,” I could still smell her lingering perfume and I remember thinking, wow, I can be a cool kid. Why not? Somebody has to be. Why not me? After all, I, as a lowly freshman, had just gone to my first upper classman party, scored some beer and made out with a hot Junior girl. That's a big night. That's a lot compared to eating Good 'N Plenties and watching "Frankenstein."

To put the cherry on top of this night’s Sunday and to cement my new hair status, I found out later that the one and only Becky Prince put out feelers to ask me to that year’s Junior prom. The fact that I couldn’t drive put the kibosh on the deal. But even being considered to go to the prom as a freshman male, let alone with one of the hottest women in school, catapulted my social standing.

Truth is that if I went to the prom with Becky Prince I might have died from nervousness. And I probably would have been stampeded by the circus in my pants. Also I'm not a toe sucker by a long shot. Fact is, I don't much like feet. But, for Becky, I would make an exception.

But there was no looking back, I had turned from mostly a head to mostly a hair in one party. Not a total hair, but mostly a hair. Let's be honest, we all have a little head still in us.

Well, maybe not Brad and Angelina, but the rest of us.

My good friend and former UCSB decathlon great, John Serrano (with two r's) a rare and greatly appreciated regular a.L.b.b. reader, astutely pointed out how this story closely resembles every single John Hughes film ever made, which, in case you wanted to know, were filmed in our near my home town of Winnetka.

In the name of total candor, however, I have to say that I was mostly the Emilio Estevez jock in “The Breakfast Club” with a touch of Judd Nelson’s character via the long hair and being a smart-ass. But no way in hell was I as cool as “Ferris Bueller.” That was a whole other league of a “hair” cool suburban Chicago kid.

Speaking of John Huges, the church where Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern get married during the 1988 Huges flick "She's Having A Baby" was our church, the beautiful white colonial Winnetka Congregational Church. My parents ashes are buried in the bucolic garden.

It is hard out here

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It is hard out here

How you feelin’ us now, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers?

It has been cold. I tell you, I was shaking like “The Views” assistant who had to tell Rosie O’Donnell they are out of donuts.

Location, location, location
Donald Trump is being giving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ironically the star is right in front of a Super Cuts barber shop.

Hurts, don’t it?
San Diego is reeling from the Chargers 24-21 upset by the New England Patriots. A depressing loss followed by cold weather. It’s like San Diegans are suddenly Chicago Cubs fans.

Old dudes
The F.A.A. is considering raising the mandatory retirement age for pilots from 60 to 65. This could result in the first intercontinental flight to fly across the entire country with its blinker on.

Or something like that
The NFL announced that there will be a regular season game played in London, England. They haven’t announced the teams but I suggest the Vikings and the Raiders and we call it the “The- teams-named-for-marauders-who-raped-and-pillaged England Bowl”

Close call
The Golden Globe Awards were last night. I don’t want to say that Warren Beatty’s speech was too long but Las Vegas had 2-1 odds that his speech would outlast Fidel Castro.

They drink it up pretty good at the Golden Globe Awards. In fact, they got so hammered, they almost gave a Golden Globe Award to an NBC prime time show.

Got no game
“American Idol” starts tonight. It is tough to watch person after person embarrassing themselves on national television with no visible talent whatsoever. And then after watching “The View” you have to watch “American Idol.”

Double R is ubiquitous
In health news, there is a new diet sweeping the nation. It is simple but effective. You can’t eat anything that has Rachel Ray’s picture on the package.

Bad news, Los Angeles. Nicole Richey was spotted driving again and talking on her cell phone. The worse part? Nicole was calling Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan to meet for happy hour.

Who knew?
Miss New Jersey USA had to resign because she is pregnant. The shocking part? The father is Donald Trump.

Can’t catch a break
There was a weird moment at the Golden Globe Awards; comedian Sacha Baron Cohen won for his portrayal of Borat but then right after he Cohen accepted the award from presenter Reese Witherspoon, Reece sued him.

Not good
San Diego is reeling from the Chargers 24-21 upset by the New England Patriots. Tough day for Chargers coach Marty Schotenheimer. When he got home is grandson was acting up and Marty tried to put him in a time out but he was out of them.

Since you asked:
We were on a road trip last week and this old story came up and deserves another spin.

My buddy Frank (Fwaaaaaaank) is a funny guy and quite the suave and deboner investment guy. Picture Frasier Crane combined with Dr. Cox on “Scrubs.” (Actor John C. McGinley)

When we call each other, we gleefully verbally abuse each other in happy and creative ways. So I call him and he launches into “F### you, you sorry sh*t-head piece of crap.” For some reason I just hung up on him without responding. (This was before caller ID)

So he calls me right back and, deeply hurt, asks;

“Why did you just hang up on me?”

“I didn’t call you.” I said lying through my teeth and trying not to laugh.

After a long period of silence, Frank says;

“Uh, oh.”

“What’s wrong, Frank?” He cleared his throat and in his deepest disk jockey voice said;

“Well, apparently I was quite rude to one of my clients.”

Now check out your home depot up in this Newsdizzy:,0,4296580.story?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It is hard out here

Get wit dat and hit dat ‘til you quit dat, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

San Diego is reeling from the Chargers 24-21 upset by the New England Patriots. A depressing loss followed by cold weather. It’s like we are honorary Chicago Cubs fans.

After the fog of war has cleared it is apparent that the stupidest play in a long line of stupid plays by the San Diego Chargers was Drayton Florence’s head butt that turned a stop into a Patriot first down. That move was so bad Florence was named an honorary Oakland Raider.

One of the worst aspects of the San Diego Charger’s 24-21 upset to the New England Patriots was losing to a coach, Bill Belichick who was wearing a dumpy grey cut-off sweatshirt that a homeless person would ask; “Are you really going to wear that?”

The big question is whether the San Diego Chargers will fire their coach, Marty Schotenberg, after going 14-2 but losing their first playoff game; I say don’t fire him, just punish him by slathering him in barbeque sauce and sicking Rosie O’Donnell on him.

Things could be worse for the Charger fans, they could be dead like, Yvonne DeCarlo who played Lily Munster, who passed away at 84. In her memoirs, DeCarlo listed all of her 22 lovers. When asked to comment, Paris Hilton said; “22 lovers? That is so adorable.”

Or as Paris Hilton calls 22 lovers, January.

The F.A.A. is considering raising the mandatory retirement age for pilots from 60 to 65. This could result in the first intercontinental flight to fly across the country with its blinker on.

The ratings for Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice: L.A.” were up and Rosie O’Donnell and “The Views” ratings are up 24%. Upon hearing this, Courtney Cox of the low-rated FX show “Dirt” announced that Donald Trump has gone bankrupt and Rosie O’Donnell is a fat loser.

Since you asked:
The premiere of “American Idol” was last night in Minneapolis and 10,000 people showed up and only 17 made the cut; where were all the people who sing in school and church choirs and bar bands? These people had to be the only 10,000 people in the city who can’t sing a note.

One of the bands I play harmonica with has a woman who is an incredible singer. Luckily both bands I play for have good singers but this girl has some serious pipes. I mean she is great. We didn’t know how lucky we were to have her. Now we do.

This woman does a lot of Sheryl Crowe songs – and I like Sheryl Crowe – except that she does them better than Sheryl Crowe. She can sound just like Linda Rondstadt. And she does it without any of that annoying pitch, listen-to-me-sing-all-over-the-place-Christine Agulera –crap that is so over.

It is painful for me to watch the idiots try out for "AI". That poor big girl who auditioned because she could sound like the Cowardly lion in the “Wizard of Oz?” Not to brag, but I can do a dead-on Cowardly Lion impression and I wouldn’t try out for “American Idol” if you threatened me with death if I didn’t. She broke my heart. She even made a little “Wizard of Oz” sign for Simon, Jewel, that dog guy and Paula and they didn’t want it. It broke my heart but doesn’t that poor, sweet girls have anyone who could give her tough love to tell her not to make a fool out of herself?

But the other morons are fun to hate. It gives you an idea how overly-entitled we are when people who cannot sing a single damn note are infuriated that they did not make the cut. Not only that, but they go into it positive that they will win the whole thing.

Listen, it is easy to sit back and do nothing and criticize, that is why the show is so amazingly popular. The people who try out are at least doing something. How about the countless millions of losers who also can’t sing but who sit on their fat asses insulting the people who try? They are the true silent majority big time losers.

Don’t make me quote Teddy Roosevelt again on how it’s not the poor, cold timid souls of the bitter critics who count. Oh, no I dih-ent, here I go again:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

You go, Ted-Bear, you go. You cold and timid souls know who you are, Dil Dolan and Stupor Stenchie.