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Showing posts from 2011

Katy Perry, Anna Kournikova and Scarlett Johansson's Boobs, Oh My 2011

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Good grief Charlie Frown another last minute post to sum up the year when really all anyone needs is a Hanger One martini, straight up with a twitter twist in a dimly lit bar with CNBC and Bloomberg hovering like the NFL on Sunday over a plate of wings.

Reports are that Katy Perry has kicked Russell Brand to the curb. Brand says they will remain Words-With-Friends unlike Kris Humphries who couldn't get Kim Kardashian to spell, not even a little bit according to her gossipy sisters.

Speaking of biggest losers, Anna Kournikova has reportedly left the show due to reports that she has been putting on weight, albeit in the alien form of Enrique's gestating mole. Hard to figure out who the biggest winner is here, Enrique on his yacht or this child who will speak and sing in all kinds of languages while it hunts for the Roddick-Decker spawn on the clay courts of Jupiter Island.

This year was biblical with its earthquakes and tsunamis, government meltdowns and the loss of tyrants and h…

Work's an Easy Place to Fall in Love

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I sure as hell ain't no Justin Bieber, but I am fascinated that this "music video" was shot on an iPhone and published to YouTube in the time it takes to fry an egg, although my eggs tend to be more palatable.

The days of recording on a four-track and then mixing tapes to play in the car or wherever else you had a "captive" audience are shrinking in the rearview mirror.



Thanks to my son, Shane, for contributing his background vocals on this track.

PS - Happy Birthday, Mom!

The Interview That Launched Sarah Jessica Parker

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Hasten back to 1987, a drizzly day in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, a young group of intrepid reporters gather in the backroom of a long since forgotten restaurant to interview an up-and-coming actress whose name was not yet known.

I received the call a week before as my name had been picked from a hat along with three others from my seventh-grade class to conduct the celebrity interview for the "Kidsday" insert of the Sunday edition of Newsday, which we were chosen to put together. The subject, a fresh-faced kid named Sarah Jessica Parker, was known for her work on the TV series Square Pegs and was then part of an ensemble cast in the TV mini-series A Year in the Life. Of course, I had not seen either of these shows.

It was an hour before the interview. The team had gathered on the train speeding toward Manhattan with our parents and the "Kidsday" editor in tow. We diligently used this time to brainstorm what questions we could ask that would both entert…

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001

My lungs burn with the ashes of the desperate,
The last gasp stretches across the river and into Brooklyn,
From the roof, the triumphant towers' boastful predecessor,
Green on St. Patrick's Day, purple for Gay Pride,
Red, white and blue on the Fourth of July ... Now black,
The Empire State in mourning,
The wondrous skyline, majestic, awe inspiring,
Raped while I watched helplessly,
Now thousands of people all looking to help
Thousands of people who can no longer be helped,

New York, New York, the city so nice
They built the tallest building twice,
A master plan destroyed by a mastermind,
Newly fueled jets, United, American,
Strike the heart of money and American defense,
Allies of Israel, enemies of bin Laden and the Islamic zealot,

Thousands of refugees on the Manhattan Bridge,
I stopped and stared, the Mona Lisa lost her nose,
The masterpiece wrecked, the smoldering tragedy, unequivocal,
A ferocious bite taken from the Big Apple,
The restoration and mourning will loom larger than the structu…

And That's When the Strange Music Starts

I have had that line stuck in my head for days. It's from the book Hell's Angels written by Hunter S. Thompson.

"... and that's when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that the fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms."

I know what he means. I scratch my head and look around the apartment -- boxes packed with books, waiting to move, wife about to burst with baby, waiting to move, dog, restless legs, waiting to move, and me, finally, waiting to move and begin the next chapter from Brooklyn to Connecticut, leaving the shattered beer bottle glass strewn on the road for the tempered bowl like concoctions filled with keys and other men's wives.

Lavender shirts and whale belts. A miserable Mets franchise and a Giants team who seems to be no more than a whimsical flirt in the back of a high-school bus.

I had never read Hunter's suicide note. Was surprised to see it posted on wikipedia. It reads:

Football season is over. No M…

I Wish Liz Cho Would Come Back to the 11pm Broadcast of Eyewitness News

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In the wake of Oprah's departure from the weekday line-up, WABC-7 has slated Eyewitness News First @ 4pm and moved Liz Cho there from her traditional 11pm slot.

While I am a fan of her replacement, Sade Baderinwa, Liz Cho was the glue of the 11pm broadcast, holding it together through the promotion of Sam Champion and the retirement of Scott Clark. In deference to Sade, my wife was riding with her in the back of a WBAL sat-truck that went through a red-light back in 2000 and hit another car. My wife had to go to the hospital for a minor injury. Even with this history, I wish Liz Cho would come back.

She guested last week at 11pm and the broadcast just seemed brighter in every way. I hope when Dr. Oz finally takes over the 4pm slot, Liz will resume her evening post and thereby restore my enthusiasm to go to bed at reasonable time.

James Spader Interview on 'The Office'

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Reports are that James Spader is in talks with The Office to appear next season as Steve Carell's replacement in the Scranton office and then eventually Dunder Mifflin's CEO.

As we have seen, he is a powerful negotiator. No doubt these skills were honed on the set of Boston Legal with the Priceline.com Negotiator himself, William Shatner.

Here's an excerpt from his fictional interview as Robert California in The Office season finale:


"You don’t work in sales, do you? ... You see, I sit across from a man, I see his face, I see his eyes. Now, does it matter if he wants a hundred dollars of paper or a hundred million dollars of deep-sea drilling equipment? Don’t be a fool. He wants respect. He wants love. He wants to be younger. He wants to be attractive. There is no such thing as a product. Don’t ever think there is. There is only sex. Everything is sex. You understand that what I’m telling you is a universal truth, Toby?"

"Okay, I’m almost a little concerned …

A 'Twibute' to Mark Haines

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On this Father's Day I can't help but think of Mark Haines, the CNBC anchor who passed away unexpectedly on May 25. I was watching that day when Carl Quintanilla read the announcement on-air and afterward I phoned my own dad to commiserate. Another reminder of him on this day is the obligatory tie often given as a gift to dads before they head off to the golf course or fire up the grill. You'll probably see many of these ties proudly displayed on Wall Street tomorrow. Even Google acknowledged this trend by incorporating one within its banner.

The day Mark Haines died it was as though the financial world stood still while CNBC's on-air anchors did their best to process it and put their loss in perspective. They shared stories about him and the loving nicknames he bestowed upon them. Among the many sentiments they shared were Haines' love of the Mets and the Giants, but above all, the love he had for his family. My heart goes out to his wife, son and daughter today.

Mark Haines, Titan of Journalism, Passes Away at Age 65

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Dearly departed from the Financial Capital of the Galaxy, Mark Haines passed away at the age of 65 and an Irish wake ensued on CNBC.


Perhaps the break up of the Dream Team was too much for him to bear.


The morning sun will not shine as bright in the absence of his squawk.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

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When a beloved series comes to an end, it is an epochal moment. I can think of M*A*S*H, Cheers, Seinfeld and now Friday Night Lights.

Inspired by the book written by H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger (follow him on twitter: @buzzbissinger), then the movie adaptation by Brian Grazer, Peter Berg and David Nevins, Friday Night Lights eventually became a Peabody Award winning television show produced by Peter Berg whose idea of letting the camera follow the actor around to capture real moments gave the show a sense of authenticity that often moved those of us watching it to tears.

Coach Eric Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler, was the mainstay through Friday Night Lights' five-season run that featured stars such as Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch, Michael B. Jordan and my personal favorite, Brad Leland. Coach Taylor's philosophy was centered on the mantra Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose! A profound concept tested again and again on and off the field. From the first…

Megan Fox, Shaken, Not Stirred

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As I passed a beautiful woman on 7th Avenue today, I couldn't help notice that she smelled like the beach, a wonderful mix of suntan lotion, sea air and baked sand that makes your lungs stretch and blood pulse. But we were at Park Slope, not Paradise Island. Maybe my senses have been programmed by years of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues with recurring captions such as "Beauty and the Beach" to associate the two. By the way, has anyone ever read anything other than the captions in those issues?


That scent, fresh and invigorating seems to fly in the face of our modern perception of beauty, or does it? No one is hotter than Megan Fox right now who presents a juxtaposition of angelic beauty with an edge defined by her prominent tattoos. Transfixed, we follow whatever she does. She insults Michael Bay and gets dropped from the Transformers sequel only to appear in Eminem and Rihanna's Love The Way You Lie video, which had a much bigger audience.


Then a commercial from …

A Free Press Is Essential to a Free Society

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As I turned a year older yesterday, I was trading quips on Facebook with my former editor-in-chief at Generation magazine, blissfully unaware of the breaking story about Lara Logan's assault. When I finally heard it, I couldn't fathom why she would return to Egypt after her recent troubles there: blindfolded, detained, driver beaten. What pushed this woman, this mother, to put her life in jeapardy again for the sake of a story?

I immediately thought of Veronica Guerin, the famous Irish reporter, who was gunned down nearly one year after her story of a murdered drug kingpin brought gunfire on her house, a gunshot to her leg and threats from a convicted criminal against her son. Yet, she pushed on. Why?

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petiti…

The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships

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The face that launched a thousand ships,
I wonder if she had your lips,
I wonder if her kiss was gold
and who listened to her stories told,
I wonder whom she deeply loved
and whose tired shoulders she may have rubbed,
I wonder who watched her comb her hair
and whether or not she minded their stare,
I wonder how beautiful she looked in her clothes
and how many if anybody truly knows,
I wonder what secrets she kept in her heart
that set her so many miles apart,
I wonder if it was possible to possess such a thing
or how it might sound when heaven's angels sing.



Other poems:
The WordsConfidenceBluff

True Writing

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True writing is a confession of the soul.

Auguste Rodin's The Thinker, originally named The Poet, is perched on a toilet.


Other poems: Chinese Herbal MedicineRATDupont Circle