Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Showtime is on a role . . .
I've always been interested in 15th and 16th century British History and have read a number of books on that period - including many by Allison Weir and Antonia Fraser, such as their books on Elizabeth I, the Six Wives of Henry VIII, Mary, Queen of Scots, the Wars of the Roses and Faith and Treason - the Story of the Gunpowder Plot.
So, I was pretty excited to see that Showtime has produced a series on Henry VIII - but a young Henry - starring Jonathan Rhys-Myers as the King and Sam Neill as Cardinal Woolsey. I watched the first 2 episodes on Showtime's website and found the series to be very well done. We see the young King go from being influenced by the humanism of Sir Thomas More, to the political cunning of Machiavelli, and bedding lots of ladies of Court along the way . . .
The series premieres this Sunday on Showtime, and anyone who enjoys history, or even just BBC type programming will likely enjoy it. Highly recommended!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Toby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and began jumping up and down on the woman's chest. The dog's owner believes the dog was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life. Debbie Parkhurst, 45, of Calvert told the Cecil Whig she was eating an apple at her home Friday when a piece lodged in her throat. She attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself but it didn't work. After she began beating on her chest, she said Toby noticed and got involved.
"The next think I know, Toby's up on his hind feet and he's got his front paws on my shoulders," she recalled. "He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest." That's when the apple dislodged and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out, she said.
Now, I'm a pet lover (see photo of Hanna wearing her patriotic scarf for 4th of July), but I have news for Debbie . . . the dog was just hungry for a nice chunk of apple . . .
Monday, March 26, 2007
My Dancing with the Stars voting pattern is to throw my support behind the retired athlete - Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and this year Clyde Drexler. Clyde the Glide is in the bottom three of points from the judges (along with Billy Ray Cyrus and Leeza Gibbons), so I used my 22 online votes to hopefully keep him in the running.
My prediction for first star voted off? Leeza Gibbons or Shandi the ex-beauty queen. Overall, the quality of the dance was pretty good this week - even Billy Ray managed to pull it together and to look like he bathed recently - but the 2 gals are lagging, and I don't see them as having the fan base to make up for the judge's scores.
Is it wrong that I want to see Blades of Glory, and I think it looks really funny?
How can this plot line go wrong? In 2002, two rival Olympic ice skaters were stripped of their gold medals and permanently banned from men's single competition. Presently, however, they've found a loophole that will allow them to qualify as a pairs team . . .
The skaters? Will Ferrell and Jon (Napoleon Dynamite) Heder . . .
Here is a photo of the boys being interviewed by real life skater Scott Hamilton (who I once saw walking down Melrose, drunk off his tiny ass, with a much larger then he blond woman). Maybe I've got office fever today, but this just screams out comic genius for some reason . . .
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Before I took up jewelry making and knitting, I took a mosaic class, and started attaching tiles to everything that didn't move. Here are a couple of samples of my work. I haven't done much lately, but a friend wants to do add some mosaic to her kitchen, and has asked me to help. Tomorrow I'm going by to check it out and see what we can (reasonably) do. As a kid, my father did alot of mosaic work, and consequently, I am fond of this craft.
The girls and I walked a couple of miles this morning, and I found out that the surprise party I was planning on attending tonight, was actually last night - whoops. But it looks like my golf game is still on for this afternoon . . . other than that, I hope to have a pretty lazy weekend. I need to work a bit - my colleague - one of the nicest men on the planet - is having prostate surgery on Monday (cancer) and I need to cover something for him that the client needs by Monday; I am happy to do so, and will keep him in my thoughts and prayers.
I hope everyone else has a nice, easy weekend, too.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
"Enchanting . . . An inspiration to us all. . . The sweet, chuckling voice of Precious Ramotswe falls gentle on the ear." –The New York Times Book Review
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
According to the AP:
Hank's issues complicate his relationships with his 13-year-old daughter (played by Madeleine Martin) and an ex-girlfriend (Natascha McElhone).
The series will premiere in August, said Showtime Networks Inc., a division of CBS Corp. The show does not yet have a title. "The X-Files" ran from 1993 to 2002."
Monday, March 19, 2007
The first lady out is Paulina Porizkova - she's still a beauty, and surprisingly likable in the candid video segment. She dances a graceful fox trot. I can hardly wait for the first shots of Ric Ocasek cheering her on from the audience - maybe next week?
Apparently, Billy Ray Cyrus stars in "Hannah Montana" with his real life daughter - what happened to "Doc"? Cyrus describes himself as a Kentucky Hillbilly, which doubtless has those hillbillies with televisions cringing across the south. We have our first candidate for most likely to be voted off. He looks dirty, and he can't dance a lick.
Leeza Gibbons is stiff as a board, and will be reduced to tears by her partner, Tony Dovolani, within 2 weeks - she scores even lower than Billy Ray.
Joey Fatone is hoping to lost "a lot" of weight so he will no longer be known as Joey Fat One (I'm not making this up.) Maybe not dressing him in white pants and vest would help. He and his partner do a fun Saturday Night Fever, but is it a Cha Cha? The judges love it, and immediately crown him the star to beat in the competition.
Laila Ali may not float like a butterfly, but she is graceful and sexy.
(I just took the girls out for their bedtime pee, and missed someone . . . . .)*
Next up, some beauty queen I've never heard of "Shandi" - her partner is kind of effeminate, which makes the banter about their great "chemistry" a tad awkward.
This season's ex-pro-athlete is former NBA great Clyde - the Glide - Drexler. At 6'7" tall, he is 15 inches taller than his partner, but is a pretty decent dancer. I'd put him higher than Jerry Rice, but maybe not in Emmitt Smith territory.
The moment we have been waiting for - Heather Mills - who describes herself as an animal rights campaigner hoping to inspire the disabled. Everyone is wondering - will the leg fly off in a spin? It will not.
The last dancer is Apollo Anton Ohno, the Olympic speed skater. He is partnered with an 18 year old professional dancer, who is following him around the world to train with him while he competes in skating competitions. They both decry the lack of practice time, but it is clear that he is a natural, and they are adorable together.
The top picks for the Mirror Ball Trophy? Fatone, Ali, and Ohno.
Note to Getflix - The Ramones were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
* I missed John Ratzenberger - Cliff from Cheers!
I hope I didn't use up all my good luck for 2007 . . .
Today I golfed in a fun tournament in Coto de Caza. Coto is where the Real Housewives of Orange County is set. It's a beautiful area, but kind of Stepford-ish. While on the course - which is surrounded by million dollar homes - we saw almost no signs of life besides squirrels on the course. No people on their balconies, no dogs barking, no kids playing . . . there is a lot of peace and quiet, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.
The tournament benefitted the Children's Miracle Network, a worthy cause. Our team (2 gals and 2 fellas) got our only birdie when I made a really difficult 50 foot putt - the proverbial blind squirrel finding the nut!
Even more amazingly, I bought some raffle tickets, and won 2 of the 10 available prizes - - a 3 night stay at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, and the big prize - a 4 night stay at any of a number of Marriott Villas - every where from Palm Desert to Marbella, Spain, to Thailand! Both prizes are good for a year . . .
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Tonight I am going with a friend to see the Eifman Ballet perform Anna Karenina at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. I saw this company perform Red Giselle in 2005, and enjoyed it very much. Boris Eifman is a rather avant garde choreographer, but the quality of the dance is quite high.
Tomorrow I am golfing in the afternoon, and also golfing Saturday afternoon, after my golf lesson in the morning . . . all this in preparation for the charity golf tournament on Monday. . .
So, the big question is . . . when I am going to get all my actual work done? You know, the kind that allows me to buy plaid golf capris and Flying Lady hot pink golf balls?
Looks like Sunday will not be a day of rest this week . . .
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I've never read any Philip Roth before, but I am listening to American Pastoral, read by Ron Silver.
The framing device employed in the book is a 45th high school reunion attended by the narrator, Nathan Zuckerman. There he meets former-classmate Jerry Levov (Seymour "Swede" Levov's younger brother) who describes to him the tragic course of Seymour's adult life. Called "the Swede" because of his anomalous blond hair, blue eyes and Nordic good looks, he is a star athlete in three sports and Zuckerman's idol and hero. "The Swede" eventually takes over his father's glove factory -"Newark Maid"- and marries Dawn Dwyer, an Irish-American Miss New Jersey 1949 winner.
Levov establishes what he believes to be a perfect American life with a beloved family, a satisfying business life, and a beautiful old home in rural, Republican New Jersey. Yet as the Vietnam War and racial unrest wrack the country and destroy inner-city Newark, Seymour's teenage daughter, whose only flaw has been a stutter, becomes angry and fat and increasingly radicalized joining the far left radical organisation 'The Weathermen'. Levov's "pastoral" life implodes in a devastating act of violence that changes everything.
This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998, and was included in the list of 100 Greatest Novels compiled by Time Magazine in 2005. How many have you read on the list? (I'm at about 26, but some I read so long ago, I barely remember them . . .).
Knitty has published its Spring 2007 issue, and this is the sweater I have my eye on for a spring/summer project . . . . Could it be any cuter with jeans?
Last night was my first foray into Season 6 of American Idol, and I can only say . . . Wow . . . if these are the 12 that made it through, I can't even imagine what the others were like . . . were they singing in Cantonese? Did they have all their body parts?
There is absolutely no possibility of any male singer winning the competition - they were unbelievably bad. I thought the guy I heard singing the karaoke version of Stone Temple Pilot's Plush on Saturday night was bad, (don't ask) but he's a superstar next to these knuckleheads. Couldn't they have least pushed through some eye candy? And God Bless Sanjaya for being out and proud, but that doesn't substitute for being able to carry a tune.
So since it seems certain that only Melinda Doolittle or Lakisha Jones can possibly win, let's just spend the next 11 weeks having a sing-off between these two, and letting the others appear as background singers, and in videos showing all the wackiness going on at the AI house in the Hills. Enough with this nonsense.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Places I'd rather be today, instead of inside an office in Irvine, California . . .
Where would you rather be today?
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Today I downloaded The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty - the third book in the "Dead" trilogy (the first two were Dead I Well May Be and the Dead Yard). Each features Michael Forsythe, an Irish mercenary constantly on the run from the Irish mob in America. The books are filled with lots of mayhem, twists and turns, but also with a wonderful, dark Irish humor.
Shortly, I will be off for my next golf lesson. I actually played pretty well yesterday - except for my ATROCIOUS putting. It may be time to spend some time away from the driving range and on the putting green.
Tonight a friend is coming by, and we are hoping to go to dinner, and then find a spot locally to listen to some live music. There is a new club in town, but tonight is Metal night, so it looks like we will have the usual choice of a bad lounge act, or a bad bar band.
It quickly became apparent that the amount of yarn indicated for the baby blanket was not nearly enough, but I was able to order some more of the same dye lot by phone . . . I probably now have way too much, but I hate knitting something that I think I will come up short on . . . so the extra yarn is well spent for my peace of mind - and it can always be used for a baby cap or two . . .
So, Happy Saturday to anybody stopping by today!
Friday, March 09, 2007
I'm meeting with my CPA on Tuesday, which means this weekend I have to make sure all my paperwork is in order. My CPA sends me very helpful worksheets, so it really is as streamlined as he can make it for me, if I only kept my records in a more organized fashion. This will honestly only take a couple of hours of work at a maximum, but I am already dreading it.
My other big project for the weekend is only slightly more appealing to me. I need to organize my 500 (yes, 500) photos from Yellowstone into some sort of cohesive, viewer friendly format. One hobby I have always avoided is scrapbooking, so all I am really aiming to do is to buy a photo album or two, get rid of the bad, repetitive photos, and slap them into the album. Nevertheless, I would welcome a root canal to avoid doing this . . .
But these are the worries for this weekend . . . today I am working half day then golfing 9 holes with my brother. Fingers crossed that I don't totally suck . . .
The baby blanket I am knitting to be donated to a local charity . . .
My pink jasmine is back in bloom, and smells wonderful . . .
Just outside of Yellowstone is the studio of Dan and Cindy Hartman, and this a poor quality photograph of the beautiful photographs of wolves I bought from Dan and Cindy.
Here, Noodles removes the last bit of stuffing from the Pink Octopus, and Nanners spends some quality time with the Blue Bunny.