Tag Archives: California

Why, hello there

Today was a tired day.

I got home after midnight following a business trip to Dallas, and was too wired to sleep.  So I ended up only getting four hours.  That made Carla cranky.

Then I saw this guy.

king dukeKing Duke lives at The Gentle Barn, a nonprofit organization in San Clarita California that rescues, rehabilitates and gives sanctuary to severely abused animals.

I follow their work on Facebook and encourage you to give them a look as well.  It is inspiring.

And just one look from the King helped put my day back in the plus column.

Warp speed

I know celebrities and regular people live in different worlds…

But do their clocks work differently, too?

Case in point: Lindsay Lohan.

She was recently sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation. Last night at nine she checked into the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynnwood, California…and promptly checked right back out at 1:30am.

Turns out 30 days in the real world is only 4.5 hours to the celebrity set.

I wonder if it works that way for everything.

On talk shows and interviews, actors are always bemoaning their long days on the set — sometimes 14-16 hours for some television shows and movies.  If they are using ‘regular people time’ (so we will be able to understand, bless our hearts), in celebrity terms they may actually only be working about….10 minutes.

Good work if you can get it.

Not again

Making movies cost the big bucks, it’s true.

So perhaps we shouldn’t judge producers too harshly when they remake blockbusters from years past to ensure box office success…like The Great Gatsby or Footloose.

This may also explain ‘sequel-itis’…although quality seems to figure less in that equation.

Case in point:  New Year’s Eve from director Garry Marshall.

New Year’s Eve is the sequel to last year’s horrible Valentine’s Day, a romantic comedy jam-packed with stars, cliched story lines and performances that were shallow to say the most.

(Sorry; it was that bad.) 

I’m not surprised actors are drawn to the sequel; it’s the easiest money they’ll ever make.  And Garry Marshall probably just used the Valentine’s Day shooting script and changed the California locations to New York City.

But why do it at all?

Critics skewered the first film, and audience reviews were only slightly warmer.  And while Valentine’s Day did break $100 million at the box office, there were a lot of celebrity salaries to pay.

Well, after seeing the trailer, I think I’ve figured it out.

Garry has directed a train wreck of a film…and we all know how hard it is not to look at one of those.

Cha-ching!

Come clean

Grab the takeout menu; it’s time to celebrate!

If you’ve been looking for a legitimate reason to never cook again, now there’s scientific proof.  A new research study suggests that at least one in seven home kitchens wouldn’t pass the health inspection given to restaurants…so the meals prepared in them could make people sick.

In the study — which was conducted online in 2008 in California’s Los Angeles County — only 61 percent of the homes taking the test would have scored an A or B if put through the actual health inspection.  In comparison, 98 percent of all restaurants in Los Angeles County scored an A or B in their inspections.

Think of all the cases of food poisoning that have been blamed on restaurants, when the real culprit was a lot closer to home.  Your mother?  Trying to kill you.  Your wife?  Plotting to get your money.  Or perhaps you simply have a death wish.

Not convinced?  Think your kitchen would score an easy A?  Take the online test and see for yourself.

And if your score is a disappointment, the only other decision you have to make is delivery or carryout.

Summer school

The Fourth of July was the official start of summer, and for some peeps, that means summer school.

Regis and Kelly are both going this week — for ratings, not grades — and are studying some really cool subjects: pizza-making, gymnastics, acting, bicycling, even how to be a ball boy at the U.S. Open tennis tournament.  (Heck, if they had offered stuff like that in summer school when I was a kid, I would have wanted to go.)

Which begs the question:  what kind of fun courses could I take this summer…if I wanted to go?

The Art of Walking” — Once I tell you this is offered at a college in Kentucky, you’ll be less surprised.

Maple Syrup: The Real Thing” — This Alfred University class teaches students how to make maple syrup.  (No prior experience is required)

“The Phallus” — Occidental College in Los Angeles offers this one.  Hope I get an A.

“Learning from YouTube” — Once I tell you this is offered at a college in California, you’ll be less surprised.

But seriously, here are a few that I would take:

“The Science of Harry Potter” — At Frostburg University in Maryland, you can see the science behind the movie magic.  (Insert spell here)

“Star Trek and Philosophy” — In this Georgetown University class, you watch Star Trek, read philosophy and talk about it. I’m guessing William Shatner will sit this one out.

Twilight: The Texts and the Fandom” — Brand new at Cambridge University, this course examines the saga’s impact on popular culture, even allowing people outside the class to participate online.

Hmmm.  Wonder which one I’ll take first…?

Staying power

I have decided the lack of sunshine in California has confused the entertainment community.

Jay Leno won’t go home…and Rob Lowe won’t stay.

Just when he was riding high again in the popular TV drama “Brothers & Sisters,” Lowe has decided to leave the show because he feels he is being ‘underused.’  Parent network ABC let him go, but is keeping him around to possibly anchor his own show in the future.

Where have I heard that before….?

Yes, it has shades of Leno in it.  But it also has shades of Lowe.

Remember Rob Lowe as earnest White House speech writer Sam Seaborn on “The West Wing?”  Even though it was structured as an ensemble drama, Lowe’s character was initially intended to be the show’s center, and President Jed Bartlet, portrayed by Martin Sheen, very much in the background.  In fact, Sheen’s initial contract was only written for four episodes.

But I think we all know what happened there.

A show about the West Wing of the White House — with Martin Sheen as POTUS — rotates around that central figure…and not the assistant communications director.  So after four seasons, Lowe left the show to anchor his own series.

It was called “Dr. Vegas.”  It lasted 10 episodes.  Oh — and Lowe was offered the part of McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but he turned it down because he didn’t want to do another ensemble drama. Hmmm.

So, Rob — I know it’s raining.  I know the light has dimmed.  But try to see the pattern that you’ve fallen into…

Yet again.

Chirp no more

As I write this, I’m sitting in LAX listening to the crickets.

No, they haven’t installed an aquatic exhibit in my terminal (although that would be very California and a very cool way to pass the time).

The chirping is unfortunately manmade and courtesy of Nextel. All those darn walkie-talkie phones with the annoying, high-pitched ‘ba-da-beep’ before each incoming transmission — I want to crush them all in my pasty white girl paws.

Why do people feel compelled to use their phones in walkie-talkie mode?  Does it save them money?  Minutes?  It seems like most cell phone companies today have stepped away from minute-by-minute packages.  Aren’t most of us paying monthly usage fees now?

Do they think it makes them look cool?  Here’s a review — it doesn’t.  Do they think it sounds cool?  That chirp every 10 seconds is tedious and repetitive…especially in a crowded airport terminal, where you also have to contend with a million loud conversations and recorded announcements about allowable liquids through security — and we’re already through security.  But that’s another rant.

The Nextel chirp also totally freaks out my dog.  He’s not with me in the airport tonight, but if he were, he’d be sitting on my head.  To him, that noise is a natural predator.

And I’m really beginning to feel the same.