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Friday, August 31, 2007

Word From The Wise

New column out today.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Do We Really Need More Cowbell?

h/t my old friend Maria . . .


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh My Goodness

I don't have words for this, so I'll just let you watch.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Review: Entourage

I kind of thought "Sex And The City" wore out its welcome far earlier than the series ended, and I was thinking this might be the season "Entourage" does the same thing.

But heading into next Sunday's season finale, HBO decided to show its best-ever episode just last night.

Only off the top of my head, here are some interesting story lines from Sunday's show:

+ The divide grows between Eric and Billy.
+ Eric loses his new client before we could find out if she liked him.
+ Tension builds between Eric and Vince.
+ Ari screws over his wife and assistant.
+ Transportation to Cannes almost gets derailed.

But just as "Entourage" usually does, it overcomes all the struggles and ends on a high note.

"I guess we're going to Cannes," Kanye West, who shows up in the episode's final two minutes, says to Vince and his posse before the group climbs aboard West's plane en route to France. Do people really live like that?

PS - I just discovered that my Showtime now comes with On Demand, so I watched the first two episodes of "Californication" yesterday. The show is awesome. And of course, since it was Sunday, what's another hour in front of the tube? "The Business" and "Minor Accompslishments..." also were outstanding.


Friday, August 24, 2007


Big Hand(h/t brokedickdog)

Below are five jobs this macrodactyly patient could not hold:

+ A baseball first baseman. Whether it's throwing or catching, there's no way he could do both.

+ A west-side gang member. How could he possibly flash the W sign?

+ A concert pianist.

+ A massage therapist.

+ A seamstress. Actually, would a male seamstress be a seamster?

What other jobs couldn't this guy do?


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ohio State

Ohio State's NYC alums recently sent out a note suggesting the Upper East Side's official game watching gatherings would be moved to the weak Times Square area.

So Steve and I began the effort a week or two ago to try to find another establishment in the neighborhood that would like to call itself an Ohio State bar on autumn Saturdays.

OK, I said I'd help, but Steve actually took some action. And last night, we ended up at The Back Page. Steve is Mr. PR. I was his muscle in case things got dicey.

But there was no need for my usual tough-guy abilities. Rich assured us he'd be more than happy to host our group. He and Steve spoke on the phone on Monday, and our visit Wednesday night seemed very positive.

"I already ordered an Ohio State banner," Rich told us, saying he felt pretty good after Monday's conversation with Steve that he thought he'd get the ball rolling quickly.

So if you're in New York and you like the Bucks, come on over to The Back Page on gamedays. Just look for Steve in the silver pants. I'll again be the muscle.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Rookie Move

I used to claim I'm not star struck, but I probably am sometimes. There are occasions when I've reacted to seeing someone by just walking up and saying hello, and other times when I've overthought the situation and scrapped the greeting altogether, then kicked myself later.

But on the walk home from work with Kelly today, we were busy with our usual routine of staring and judging all manner of women when I saw someone who I wouldn't necessarily classify as a star, but he's definitely on the smart crowd A-list. Chuck Klosterman was standing on 3rd Avenue in the mid-70s and I completely and carelessly interrupted what appeared to be a serious moment between him and a colleague.

I said hello, introduced myself, told him I work in media as well (as if that made me cooler) and insisted that I'm a big fan. Then I went back to judging the passing women with Kelly.


Review: 300

I saw "300" last night and have to say it was as recommended to me: worth watching but didn't lack a certain gratuitous quality.

Lots of blood. Lots of blood. Lots of blood.

The story is a good one, however, and I remember it well from high school history class. The 300 Spartans didn't necessarily topple Xerxes' Persian army of what legend numbers at 1 million soldiers.

But Leonidas cemented the Spartan legacy by confidently and courageously leading his undermanned group into an unwinnable battle. Armed with a sound strategy and an impenetrable will, fighting against a seemingly insurmountable force, Leonidas led the rally and the Spartans put up an admirable fight for several days.

The effort at Thermopylae was so memorable that dozens of schools now call themselves the Spartans, including my high school alma mater. You don't really hear about any teams called the Persians, do you?


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How's My Life?

Let's pretend for a moment that I'm a 16-year-old girl. I took a couple of dumb online surveys that a friend sent to me. This is really queer, but I thought I'd share anyway:

How smart are you?
Are you dumb?

How much are you worth?
HumanForSale.com - I am for sale!

Monday, August 20, 2007


As you know, PAE isn't very fond of ESPN, but the sports giant gets two large thumbs way up for two of its stories over the weekend.

Screw the "Who's Now?" and the Sunday Conversations with Tiger Woods. Has he ever said anything important? He makes Pete Sampras look like Dennis Rodman.

Low-access superstars are tired and with the exception of Gary Sheffield and Charles Barkley, they all pretty much sound like robots who have nothing interesting to offer.

But Rick Ankiel, the up-and-coming St. Louis Cardinals ace who forgot how to throw a strike a few years ago, has made a comeback as an outfielder. And Peter Gammons interviewed him for a story over the weekend and it was awesome.

The story aired just a few minutes after another story about Todd Crandell, a lengthy feature about a man who's gone from the darkest depths of addiction to founding Racing For Recovery, a group that helps addicts not only overcome their drug and alcohol problems, but also train for races to complete the circle of recovery. Neither of these stories was typical two- or three-minute TV. Each was at least eight minutes or so, and I'd watch them again if I could. This is the stuff ESPN should keep doing, not the flowery or self-serving shit we've come to expect over the last decade from what was once an enjoyable station to watch.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Panic Bell

CBS News promises to show us this week that bridges aren't the only great structures in America that are in danger of collapsing.

It's another fine example of the media sounding the panic bell and taking advantage of a soft and impressionable populace that will gather their families round the television set and listen to yet another reason to basically run for our lives.

I've asked PAE readers a few times here whether you think media dictates what the viewers should want to watch, or if it's the other way around, that the media simply serves up what it knows the public prefers.

But let's not forget the government's role in the media. Generally regarded to be a collection of left-leaners, particularly on the news side, the media loves to scare the shit out of us, which is more of a Republican tactic. Nonetheless, the quick tease on CBS showed aerial shots above a dam, so I'm wondering if one of those might collapse soon.

Our alarmist culture seems unwilling to consider, however, that a dam, much like a bridge in Minneapolis or perhaps just the alternator under the hood of your car, has a shelf life. Nothing lasts forever, and the networks need to quit always playing up the blame angle, and just accept that a dam might break somewhere sometime. It's not always so simple that you can just point a finger at an engineer or a team of experts. Once in a while, as the great philosopher Forrest Gump opined, shit happens.


Weekend Recap

Places visited this weekend:

+ Lunasa

+ Dempsey's Pub

+ Dream Hotel

+ McAleer's Pub

+ Trinity Pub


Thursday, August 16, 2007

This Just Happened

One of our morning show producers, Terrance, came back to the room where I work with a quite likeable but certainly very polite and sometimes serious co-worker. She's not the type of person in front of whom I typically crack my arsenal of mostly rated-R jokes.

Anyway, Terrance was talking about the guest who was on earlier this morning, touting her book about spontaneous orgasms. (This is news?) Anyway, Terrance asked me if I knew what the PC muscle was. I said, "Yeah, it's the pubococcygeal muscle or something. The muscle under your testicles. You flex it when you do those Kegel exercises. In fact, I'm exercising mine right now."

Terrance didn't stick around the room much longer after that.


On Media

+ Though ABC's upcoming "Cavemen" has been roundly dismissed before airing its first episode, at least the promos look pretty decent. There are a couple of slo-mo shots to simulate hidden-camera video of the title characters out partying at the clubs.

Will you watch "Cavemen?"

+ This week's Sports Illustrated has some good letters to the editor regarding Michael Vick. One reader opines, "After years of seeing athletes being convicted of spousal abuse, the lopsided outrage over dogfighting shows the insanity of our society. Dogfighting is bad but nowhere near as horrible as a man beating his wife or girlfriend."

And another reader urges, "Let me, with just five words, caution everyone running in all directions because a sports star has apparently done something that is revolting: Remember the Duke lacrosse team."

A third reader with a little bit of a sense of humor writes in: "Where is a Paris Hilton story when you need one?"

What's your take on Vick?

+ Best Hour Of Comedy You've Never Watched:
It's on cable. It's on kind of later on Sundays. And no, it's not "Entourage" and "Flight Of The Conchords."

IFC airs "The Business" and "The Minor Accomplishments Of Jackie Woodman" from 11 p.m. to midnight each Sunday.

Each show is in its second season, but since it's IFC, you probably haven't watched either of them.

Both shows are excellent. "The Business" shows a male-heavy movie production house high on sexual immaturity and low on office correctness. Smartly written and surprisingly well acted, the show is carried by prude producer Kathleen Robertson (Beverly Hills, 90210), but strongly backed by the childish antics of her male co-workers. eBay has the first season available on DVD for as low as $3.99.

Laura Kightlinger writes and stars in "The Minor Accomplishments . . .," a story about two women who do their best to derail any professional or even social successes that approach them. Kightlinger has been a stand-up staple for years, and even became a regular on the underappreciated and eventually canceled "Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn." She's actually pretty funny, and much like herself in real life, her title character is far sexier than she's given credit for. First season available right now on eBay for $.99.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Quoting . . .

My boy Dave in Cincinnati wrote to me yesterday that he came across a note in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer.

"Hey Wise, just wanted to tell you again that I love your blog. I check it out about 20 times a day, and I'm thinking about sending you money for all the times you've made me laugh. You really are an outstanding writer. And I've always thought you were quite handome. No wonder all those Brazilian supermodels are all over you."

OK, he didn't write any of that, but here's a portion of what he did write:

"Eric Lange, a 1991 Fairfield High School graduate, appears on "Entourage" today (10 p.m., HBO) as the director of "The Young and the Restless."

Apparently, Dave knew this cat from the neighborhood back in the day. Here's what he said about him:

"...but I knew him as the somewhat-spoiled (but generally nice) only child whose mother bought him a giant piece of extra-slippery linoleum so he could practice break dancing in his front yard."

Extra-slippery linoleum. It's the only way to go if you're a serious break-dancer. I've said it a million times.

And on the phone with a tipsy Jason last night at about 9:30 p.m.

Me: "Have you been drinking all day, dude?"

Jason: "No, just since I got home from work at 3."


Weekend Recap

I had a couple of beers on Thursday night, so I stayed in on Friday and figured I'd begin a project that was long overdue.

I'm a notoriously cluttery person. Piles of paper and junk and notes from unfinished projects and things I say I'm gonna need at some point in the next seven years. Despite an average of one move every 18 months over the last decade, one thing that has -- for better or worse -- not gotten left behind is my clutter.

I seriously say things like this to myself when deciding whether to hold onto something: I'd better save that article my mom sent me in 1999. I seriously might consider this type of walking shoe someday.

So I went through my file cabinet and shredded about 10 pounds of paper that was no longer important. And just when I felt like I was about two-thirds of the way through the effort, I put in a movie. Such a move only makes sense for someone who's as incapable of finishing projects as I've always been.

Netflix sent me "Letters From Iwo Jima," which was outstanding.

Saturday was quite productive. I don't think I told you that last weekend I finally got my ass over to the Met and set up shop. I didn't sell a ton of my art, but I did sell a few pieces, and did some networking and PR as well, all on a lovely Saturday afternoon.

And I thought about going back just this past Saturday, but I instead finished the shredding, ran some important errands and finally played ball for the first time since I've been up here.

The scene of a summer afternoon in Central Park was just as I'd pictured, lots of ballplayers, walkers, bikers and the smell of marijuana and Colt 45 near the basketball courts.

My neighbor Joe is a big kid, and we rolled down to the park at about 4. It was so packed that we finally got on about an hour later, and after a one-point loss, would have had to have waited three more games, so we just packed up and split.

Sarah from work had her birthday party later at Keats' karaoke bar near Grand Central Station. I'm not a karaoke guy, so I just sat back and had a couple beers early.

I then left to meet Carolyn at my new favorite bar, The Auction House. It's the rare New York bar with an Upper East Side address but without pretention or a college crowd. It offers good, loungey music and velvet couches, a dimly lit ambience and a surprisingly decent prices.

Getting back to the inability to finish projects . . . I got my mom one of those digital photo frames for Christmas, and when it didn't read the CF card I put in there, I figured maybe the images were too heavy. So I planned to rework the slideshow by sizing the images down and saving them on an SD card instead.

Eight months ago.

I finally got around to doing that on Sunday, so mom, if you're reading, expect something in the mail soon. Sorry about that.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Ohio State University

In a time of national crisis when security is at an all-time high, I have a recommendation, on behalf of all Buckeyes football fans, for the Ohio State athletic department: Keep doing what you're doing.

Several years ago, friends Matt and Al slid down to the turf of Ohio Stadium moments after an OSU-Michigan game, then joined some of the players -- complete strangers -- in the walk toward the locker room. After Al feasted on the post-game spread and Matt snuck punter B.J. Sander's jersey into his coat, the pair joined hands with still-dressed Buckeyes players in a postgame prayer.

And nine months ago, I snuck into the media reception room in Times Square's Hard Rock Cafe minutes after Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy.

The latest security breach took place last week, when ad tycoon and good friend Steve Susi slithered into the Big 10 preseason media luncheon at just the right time: As Jim Tressel was addressing the crowd of nearly 1,000. Here's a description from Steve:

Last week I came back from Rio de Janeiro and went straight to Chicago for meetings at our office there, which is connected to the Hyatt Regency downtown, the site of the Big 10's annual Media Luncheon.

I got wind of it going on, ran downstairs, and snuck in just in time to watch the last three speakers (yeah, they went on in alphabetical order): Paterno, Tiller and The Tress.

Attached is a super high-quality camera phone movie (Ed note: sarcasm is suspected here) I took of The Vest talking about the excellence of football in the state of Ohio. Listen closely and you'll hear him bring up Miami.

P.S. -- It's a long story, but last month I was informed by ESPN that I'd won the grand prize in the ESPN Ultimate Rio Sweepstakes that I entered online, which sent me and a guest (Anthony) to a deluxe, five-star-everything week in Rio for the Pan Am Games. Absolutely incredible. If not the best ever, then definitely one of the top three weeks I've ever experienced. It happened so fast that I didn't really get a chance to tell anyone about it.

And since we're showing video clips today, why not enjoy this one sent in by PAE correspondent Lee Gerowitz?


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Guest Blogger -- Dave

My boy Dave is in Scotland for the Fringe Festival. He's the guy who was busy calling me out for leaving the invite for Carolyn at Nice Matin the minute she walked into my party the other night. I don't know if I told Dave that she and I went out to dinner two nights later. Ahem.

Anyway, Dave's one of the funnier people I've met here in New York, and he's a Louisville native, so that makes him extra cool. And he offers up this dispatch from Scotland . . .

EDINBURGH -- Greetings from Scotland. It's 58 degrees and misty. Every day. No wonder these people drink all day. They also go tanning. There's a castle on a cliff that looms over the whole city. It's quite dramatic. The festival is amazing -- theater, comedy and music from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. every day. I've seen some cool stuff. The Eagles cover band from Amsterdam was incredible (if they come to NY, I'll alert you). The 50-person ukulele symphony was awesome. The reverse strip tease girls were great. They start naked and get dressed to music -- very hot. And a guy who does every line and scene from the "Star Wars" trilogy by himself in an hour.

Our play is being well received. We're known as the rich New York crew. Word spread around the festival about the mansion we're staying in and how we have sit-down catered lunches and dinners with a private chef and maid. We also have a wine cellar. We're putting away 15 bottles a night.

Scottish girls are ugly, but after drinking 380 pints of ale and 3 pounds of haggis, I'm not looking too good either.

The guys here have shaved heads and look like they want to punch you all the time.

I can't understand the damn accent. It sounds polish or Lithuanian.

We're going to a Scottish Premier League soccer game this week. Either the Hearts or the Hibs, whoever they are.

They seem to like New Yorkers, but kind of hate the rest of Americans.

The new part of town here was built in 1788.

Pints are about 5 bucks.

I have not watched TV for 8 days, a record for me.


Friday, August 03, 2007


Remember how I suck on live television? And remember how I told you two months ago I'd get that interview of me on Cincinnati's WCPO-TV up on here? Thanks to Marcus' tech skills -- he was able to rip it from the CD and make it uploadable -- we can all get our weekend started with a good laugh.

I don't try to pretend I'm not into self-promotion, but that doesn't mean I can't admit I'm awful at some of it. Just so you know.