Happy Betty Day!
That would be 93. She's 93 years old today...
No, this isn't shaping up to be the worst year ever... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Rain! The best thing I've seen all week is this wonderful photo that was entered in the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. It doesn't get much more adorable than this...
Photo by Andrew Suryono for Sony World Photography Awards
One smart primate right there.
• People's Choice! I loved Betty White long before it was the cool thing to do. Moments like this are why...
I don't know what's better... Betty White accepting her award with such genuine surprise and appreciation... or the fact that Captain America himself, Chris Evans, escorted her to the stage.
• Vegetarian? I can't wait to try it!
• Back! In Thailand, male friends hold hands all the time. They think nothing of it, and they find it strange that people find it strange. The Thai people are amused by Western hang-ups that make something so innocent and natural be looked upon as scandalous. I, on the other hand, can't be amused, because I know in some areas this simple act could get a guy severely beaten or even killed... gay or not...
Insanity. This society we've build is just plain nuts.
• Carter! After the disaster that ended up being Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, I admit to being a bit pessimistic about Marvel's Agent Carter. Yes, it stars the divine Hayley Atwell and is being produced in the style of the brilliant Marvel One-Shot that was attached to the home-video release of Iron Man 3... but there was just so much going against it...
And then I watched it and it was wonderful in every way. It's beautiful to look at and the story means something. And it looks like it's going to be tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terrific ways. We're probably going to see the fallout between Howard Stark and Anton Venko... fathers of Tony (Iron Man) Stark and Ivan (Whiplash) Vanko, respectively. And I'm sure there's going to be an appearance by the Howling Commandos... maybe even Arnim Zola? (please! please! please!). If you're not watching, you should be...
And that's a wrap! Only seven days to go until your next Bullet Sunday fix...
Hold on to those Super Bowl XLVII predictions... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Seahawks! And speaking of the Super Bowl... looks like the Seahawks are getting their second trip to the big game. Ironically they'll be playing the Broncos, which means it's a battle between the two states that legalized marijuana. That's quite a bowl.
• Security! Show of hands... who thinks that President Obama would have held a press conference concerning infringements on civil liberties and new restrictions on NSA surveillance if the government hadn't been caught spying on all the wrong people? Another show of hands... who thinks anything is going to actually change? Meh. It's all bullshit anyway. Politicians can say whatever they want to mollify the public, but whether it's our own government... or a company like Google... personal privacy is gone.
"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither" — Benjamin Franklin
• Freedom! To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Freedom Industries (the company whose badly maintained waste storage tanks are responsible for a chunk of West Virginia losing their water supply) have declared bankruptcy. Typical. Big corporations pay for politicians to advocate the elimination of environmental protections under the guise of "job creation," when everybody knows they're only angling to avoid paying for eco-friendly business practices. Then, when their reprehensible excuse for "public safety" fails, they declare bankruptcy so everybody responsible has their ass covered and everybody else gets screwed. Now that's freedom!
• Gilligan! Was sad to learn that Russell Johnson, the guy who played the professor on Gilligan's Island, has died. As the guy who could make a nuclear reactor out of a coconut and two bananas, he was always my favorite castaway...
Smooth sailing, sir.
• Betty! Very happy birthday wishes to Betty White who turned 92 this week!
Still one of my favorite actresses.
And... time to put away my bullets and pack a suitcase.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETTY WHITE!
And so I didn't get to leave Spokane yesterday as planned.
In an attempt to make the best out of the situation, I decided to go to Pita Pit for a falafel sandwich last night. It was delicious. Back home, most people don't even know what the heck "falafel" is, so I don't pass up opportunities like this.
On the way back to my hotel, I passed two guys fighting over change on the sidewalk. One of them screams "MY DARK SIDE IS COMIN' OUT AND YOU DON'T WANNA FUCK WITH MY DARK SIDE!" The other guy pushes him away, grabs the quarter off the sidewalk, then runs off screaming "I'M THE JEDI MASTER, BITCH!!"
How cool was that? Witnessing this exchange made me feel better about not being able to go home.
Sadly, this moment of happiness was fleeting. Lately I've been having an even worse time sleeping than usual, and last night I got no sleep at all. Methinks it may be time to revisit my insomnia with a new doctor. Not that doctors have been much help in the past, but I suppose I owe it to myself to keep trying.
Breakfast this morning was the same as yesterday morning... leftover pizza from my dinner two nights ago. Since I don't have any plates, I had to get a little creative in finding something for my pizza slices to sit on while heating...
The drive home was pretty uneventful.
Normally, that's a good thing when traveling... but on such a long, boring drive, a little bit of "eventful" would have been nice. Especially since I was working on no sleep.
Oh well. I survived it. I'm home. Anything on top of that is gravy.
My lunch today consists of a 5-Hour Energy Shot and some oatmeal-raisin cookies. I'm hoping that they will keep me awake while I make my way through the heap of emails that took a dump on my in-box this morning.
One of the emails I got was regarding my mention of traveling in the 1990's, and was asking if I had photos of what I looked like back then. I suppose I have lots of them. But that was from the pre-digital era, so I don't know where the photos are. I do have this one of me from 1994 stuck on my bulletin board though...
And here's one from 1992 that I had posted earlier...
Yes, yes I know... I was so damn hot back then! What happened? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm willing to bet that Jägermeister is involved.
The strange thing about looking at these photos is realizing how different things are for me when I travel now vs. how I traveled twenty years ago. I've hinted about it before, but back then I was redefining the meaning of "budget travel." All my money went into just getting there. I remember times of having to decide between such luxuries as "eating" or "having a place to sleep at night." Heady days of having $25 to last three days, so I'd sleep in a train station and try to find a bakery selling day-old bread for cheap so I could eat... then rationing the loaf so it lasted for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Absolutely every move I'd make would have to be weighed against the cost, and many days were spent just scraping by as I went from place to place.
Looking back, I should have been miserable... but I truly wasn't. I wanted to travel to as many interesting places as I could, so I'd take a new trip the minute I had enough money for airfare. I didn't care that this left me with nothing to live on once I got there, I was compelled to go. And being hungry and trying to find a safe place to sleep because I blew all my money on a museum ticket was just the way things were.
Yet... I was having the time of my life.
And nothing anybody could say would convince me otherwise.
Of course today I look back on some of the more dicey days and am both horrified I put myself in those situations... and amazed I survived them... but that's youth for you. I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. Life is good.
Now I should probably get back to work. The rest of these emails aren't going to answer themselves.
But one more thing before I go... congratulations to one of my favorite people on earth, BETTY WHITE, for her SAG win last night! Big buckets of awesome...
Photo from Kevin Winter, Getty Images
I wish Betty had time to do a guest appearance on Raising Hope, Happy Endings, or The Finder... her cameos are always legendary, and it would be sweet to have her appearing on my favorite shows.
I first became a fan of Betty White while watching reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her character of Sue Ann Nivens was about the most beautifully messed-up thing I had ever seen on television, and any episode where she appeared was guaranteed to be a laugh riot.
This led to me watching game shows where Betty might appear, and her guest-spots on Match Game, Password, and many others became the stuff of legends.
After that, Betty became a bit of an obsession, and I'd watch anything she'd appear on. And yes, this included 180 episodes of The Golden Girls plus twenty-some-odd episodes of The Golden Palace. Probably because of all the things Betty has done, playing naive and innocent Rose Nylund was the most bizarre. It was not only opposite of what Betty White was like in real-life... but it was also opposite from most other characters she had played. The easy route would have been for her to take the role of man-obsessed sex-fiend Blanche Devereaux (which she was originally offered), but instead she went for the role that would be more of a challenge.
Though, I dare say that playing one of the sweetest, kindest people on earth wasn't too much of a stretch. Betty's tireless efforts on behalf of animals and other worthwhile organizations sets the bar for others to follow. And despite her having always been a bit raunchy, the fact that she is so widely known to be incredibly kind, caring, and generous makes it easy for me to be a huge, huge fan...
As you can imagine, I was very happy when she made such a huge comeback in recent years. Though, in reality, she never really went anywhere (as her massive IMDB page will show). To see legions of people loving on Betty as I had for decades is pretty amazing. That this newfound popularity led to even more fantastic appearances... such as her groundbreaking guest-hosting gig on Saturday Night Live... not to mention a new television show with Hot in Cleveland... is a Betty-fan's dream come true.
So Happy 90th Birthday to one of my favorite people on earth!
Here's hoping for many more birthdays, and many more years of doing what you do best... entertaining the world in a way few people have ever done!
If you want to help her celebrate, I can think of no better way than cruising YouTube for Betty White videos. That can bring a smile on even the worst days!
A presidential candidate I actually want to vote for!
I swear, nobody else can do what Betty does. If you missed her on Craig Ferguson tonight, this is a must-see...
Love Betty. Would vote for her in a heartbeat over any other candidate running.
And... here I am in L.A. for one day only.
Though the city has not-so-pleasant memories from when I was working here, I do still love it quite a lot. Probably because it's one of those places I've been to so many times that I've long-since worn out all the "touristy crap" and can just relax and do the things I like to do.
The trip got off to an ominous start. After the cabin door had been closed on the small aircraft, some guy yelled for the flight attendant because he wanted off the plane. He claims the reason was a text message from his lawyer. But the pilot was new to the job, and those of us at the front of the plane could hear every word of her pre-flight conversation with the co-pilot. Phrases like "You know what I'm doing, right?" and "How do I fly out of here?" don't exactly inspire confidence.
And so we were delayed while the guy got off the plane, which was too bad for him because the take-off was unlike any I've ever had from our small airport. Rather than doing a high-banking turn as usual, she did a lovely, lazy spiral. This afforded us an amazing view of the valley that I have never seen in my 25 years of flying out of here...
After a transfer at SeaTac (Seattle) I was off to the City of Angels. After working all morning in my hotel room, I knew exactly where I wanted to go for lunch... PINK'S HOT DOGS!
After all, it comes Betty White recommended...
And their "Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog" smothered in fresh guacamole, onions, and tomatoes is worth the effort to get here. The veggie dog itself is better at America's Dog in Chicago, but the fresh California toppings at Pink's are fantastic...
The reason I came to L.A. was located in Hollywood, so I passed the time walking the Walk of Fame. A couple times ago when I was here, Michael Jackson had died. This time, it was Elizabeth Taylor's star that was covered in flowers...
The weather was flawless. A cool breeze with flawless blue skies...
Right up until nighttime, when the sunset was pretty amazing on Hollywood Boulevard...
But the real awesomeness was yet to come...
To be continued...
I both love and hate shopping for groceries at late hours during weeknights. On one hand, there's very few people and you're pretty much left alone to shop in peace. On the other hand, the people that you DO run into are... errr... "colorful" to say the least.
Tonight I drove into Wenatchee for a late-supper blogger meet with Brandon, Eclectic, and Matt. Since "eating" is a highly-specialized activity for me now that I'm trying to recover from side-effects of Getting Healthy, I had to eat my salad and beer bread at super-human speeds so that I could finish before my food deadline. I don't think I injured anybody, but it sure made trying to hold a conversation interesting.
After dinner (and an obligatory stop for drinks) I decided to make my afore-mentioned trip to the grocery store. Albertsons was, as expected, mostly empty at 10:45pm.
Except for the hipster rejects, gangsta posers, redneck zombies, drugged-out hippies, whack-job crazies, Jersey Shore wannabes (WTF? How is this a fashion trend?)... and me. Oddly enough, I fit right in. Society's outcasts have nothing on me.
And now I'm home and reading about the whole "We Won't Fly" movement, where people are protesting the new airport "scanners" (which I wrote about two days ago) by refusing to fly. There's even a website about it where they are advocating a "No Fly Day" boycott on November 24th. "Hit the airlines in the pocketbook until the scanners and gropers are gone. Make the airlines work for us."
What a crock of horse shit.
If I wasn't already flying on November 24th, I would actually change my travel plans to fly on that day.
What the fuck do the airlines have to do with airport security? Nothing. That's what. Airlines operate at the pleasure and direction of the Transportation Security Administration. They aren't in a position to dictate shit. Sure they can protest that the new security measures are harming their business and hope that the TSA comes up with a better plan than these pricey scanners (which many claim won't make us any safer and may actually be dangerous to human health), but that's about it. They don't make the decisions as to what the TSA implements for airport security. Punishing them as if they do is just stupid.
It's like boycotting McDonalds because they don't have cocaine on the menu. Boycotts against persons, businesses, or organizations for things which are outside of their control doesn't make any sense to me. Sure, go ahead and boycott McDonalds because they won't put fried pies back on the menu, or boycott the airlines because they force you to sit in seats with no leg-room and pay extra to check a bag... those are decisions they made. But boycotting them for decisions and rules they have to follow which other people made? WTF?.
Now that we have "No Fly Day" I'm going to reiterate the same request I made for "Shutdown Day" back in 2007...
Look, I fully admit that I'm opposed to the new scanners and support a person's right to opt-out of having to use them. I know that the TSA claims that these devices are no more dangerous than mobile phones (mobile phones are safe, right? RIGHT?). I understand the images are not saved. I appreciate that the person viewing the scanner images can't make out who is in the machine, nor can they look out and see the person being scanned. I concede that the TSA has rules in place which would prevent scanner operators from recording what they see. Blah... blah... blah... I just don't care. Experts have said that these scanners can be fooled, and so the invasion of my privacy and possible health risk just aren't worth it. Nor is the enormous cost, which we will all have to pay for. Because if there is a way to fool the scanners, terrorists will find out about it, and then where will we be?
Showing our junk at the airport for no good reason.
And for people who feel the same as I do, they can opt out of the scanner and get groped by a TSA agent instead. Yes, that's not much of an alternative. And, no, I don't like it. That's why I will be writing my senator (which is apparently Patty Murray again), calling my Representative, and blogging about it. Hopefully continuing action AGAINST THOSE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE will be enough to eventually let sanity prevail. But, in the meanwhile, I have to fly and this is the price I pay for it. And I'm not going to punish the airlines because they want to keep operating and have to play by the rules and conditions they're given by the TSA to do so.
And in happier news...
The incomparable Betty White is now an honorary forest ranger!
Photo by Morigi/WireImage, from NY Daily News.
She has done so much to support and advocate for animals and their habitats that this is a well-deserved honor.
It's nice to end the day with some good news for a change.
And so Betty White was on Inside The Actors Studio tonight.
It's kind of odd seeing her relatively recent massive surge in popularity when I've been a huge fan of hers for as long as I can remember. I first saw her on game shows like Match Game, Pyramid, and (of course) various Password reruns and revivals. And while I didn't watch a lot of Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes, I (of course) remember her genius performances there. And then came appearances on everything from The Love Boat to Mama's Family... and (of course) The Golden Girls, where she (rightfully) became a huge star again.
From there, Betty gave me no shortage of reasons to remain a die-hard fan. Dozens of amazing guest appearances in just about everything... including a ballsy role in Lake Placid and her wicked turn as Catherine Piper on Boston Legal.
Now she's appearing everywhere, including her mind-boggling awesome guest-hosting gig on Saturday Night Live.
So what in the hell took James Lipton so long to finally get her on Inside the Actors Studio?
I have no idea. But it's about frickin' time.
Sadly, as Karl noted on Twitter, it was absurd that they cut the interview down to a mere one-hour show. Her career is so brilliant, varied, and long that TWO hours would barely scratch the surface. Yet they butchered it down to just one? Stupid. I mean, hey, it's Betty White... so the show was understandably fantastic. But it was a rushed superficial hack-job of an interview and James Lipton should be ashamed to air it. All I can hope is that eventually they release the full two-plus hours they recorded on iTunes or DVD or something.
Updating my New Television Season Scorecard... tonight was the premiere of No Ordinary Family...
Now, I've made no secret of my scathing hatred for the pile of shit television show Heroes which featured boring super-powered people rarely using their super-powers (unless they were lame-ass powers that didn't require special effects). Now, for reasons I cannot fathom, ABC has decided we can't live without a mash-up of Heroes and Modern Family by way of ripping off Pixar's The Incredibles. Along the way, they steal from comic books left and right (the "super-speed" wife has to eat huge quantities to maintain her metabolism, just like The Flash, for example). Not to mention a blatant rip-off of TV's Greatest American Hero ("instructions not included?"... SERIOUSLY?).
The result is an all-new show that we've already seen a dozen times before.
And while it doesn't 100% suck, it does mostly suck. Because there's nothing surprising enough... exciting enough... new enough... to draw me in. Hell, even the big fight scene at the end (well done as it was) ended up being a rip-off of Nightcrawler's invasion of The White House in one of those awful X-Men movies. Nothing in the show has any semblance of originality to me. I was
On the plus side, I do think the performances were pretty good. And I think they set themselves up for the possibility of doing something interesting with the show's background mythology (unlike shitty Heroes which failed miserably with theirs). So, despite my better judgement, I will be tuning in for a few more episodes just to see if they go anywhere I want to be. Final score? C-