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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dr. Dave

Longtime friend Barry has been a pretty tough kid ever since I've known him. And how he described his dad's death this week kind of told me where he got that from.

Dr. David Schwartz, sometimes mistaken for legendary college basketball coach Dean Smith, died Tuesday in a Cincinnati hospital.

My own dad died in 1992, and I spent too much time after that working in restaurants and freelance writing, so my own health-care coverage was fairly weak. That's why Dr. Schwartz got the occasional ring from his youngest son's good buddy, and most of the time it was helpful.

But once in 1998, I came home from Australia convinced I'd picked up some kind of virus over there. I described the one most prominent symptom, and he gave me a quick diagnosis.

Perhaps because I wasn't an actual paying patient, Dr. Schwartz -- almost as funny as his son Barry -- might have thought the doctor-patient relationship didn't need to be quite so confidential. That was at least my guess the next time I visited the Schwartz compound for some kind of cookout, and was greeted by Barry's siblings with inquiries about my green stools.

Dr. Schwartz was surrounded by loved ones when he died at age 73.


Kick The Movie

Has anyone seen the trailer for "The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?

We all know what it means to kick the bucket. And the bucket list is merely a series of feats one hopes to accomplish before he kicks the bucket.

Currently on the list for Nicholson and Freeman? Making a horrible movie. Check that off the list; this flick looks awful.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mystery Link

This is by far the best thing I've seen on the Internet in quite some time.


Friday, December 14, 2007

The News

This I just heard on a local newscast: "It turns out a glass of red wine a day may keep the doctor away."

Yeah, it turns out. As if we've been waiting with bated breath to hear the findings of the latest research because the red wine story isn't the most overplayed health tip in the history of TV news, and we don't already hear about it every three weeks.

Say, did that Mary Lou Retton win the gold medal? I hadn't heard.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fuerza Bruta

Sometimes when I miss the midwest, and I miss it often, something happens that reminds me that I live in the greatest city in the world.

I've been here in New York for 18 months now, and I can count at least a few occasions where something I experienced makes the missing entirely worth it.

You know how stretching or a massage loosens your muscles, or how a sauna might open your sinuses? Odd analogies, I know, but profound in much the same way that "Fuerza Bruta" introduces you to a completely new level of appreciation. I'd never heard of it until Tuesday night, and it truly is candy for the senses.

Casting girl took me to the Daryl Roth Theatre near Union Square last night to take in the 70-minute show. I won't go into my typically wordy detail; I'll just tell you these people are courageous aerial performance artists. I'm sure real art writers have a much more eloquent way of describing it, so I'll stop myself now and ask you to enjoy a still-image slideshow here, then some impromptu video clips I shot below:

Fuerza Bruta Clip No. 4

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Fuerza Bruta Clip No. 3

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Fuerza Bruta Clip No. 2

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Fuerza Bruta Clip No. 1

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Bobby Petrino

I don't deny that Bobby Petrino is an a-hole. I used to live in Louisville, where he took the football team there from a cute little Top 25 program in a direction much closer toward the national elite. Having homegrown Brian Brohm certainly didn't hurt, but he did an overall great job in Louisville during the football season.

But once the offseason hit, he could never stay away from the flirtations with other, possibly greener-grass opportunities. And sure enough, after last season, he took the job with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

And 13 games in -- he must have thought he was still on college time -- he bolted back to college to take over at Arkansas. Again, I don't deny that he's an a-hole and I'll never know why an NFL owner or a Division I college would take a chance on him because his flirty habit is now well documented. No loyalty whatsoever.

But what I don't get is the blatant outcry by the Falcons players, who ripped him all day today, with things like, "He quit on us" and "A man doesn't do that." This the same week that Falcons QB and NFL superstar Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring that would make even the most unsavory characters in southeastern Kentucky blush. Vick's punishment was handed down only hours before the Falcons took the field to play New Orleans on Monday Night Football, a game in which Falcons players decked out their uniforms with subtle and not-so-subtle messages showing support for their befallen friend and teammate.

Did Vick not quit on his teammates? Does a man kill defenseless dogs?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


This conversation just went down at work:

Frank: "Alex Trebec just suffered a mild heart attack."
Me: "Actually, Frank, I think the proper way to phrase that is, 'Which television game-show host . . . '"


Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Review

My old friend Jason owns a business in Cincinnati, and he brought some of his staff up here to NYC last week to work on a big account for two weeks. I told him he could count on me to help a few times after I got off work. I went down there for four hours on Thursday and 2.5 hours on Friday. I feel like a loser, but I'm not a manual labor guy, so I quit. What an a-hole.

Because of my active imagination, my skill with the spoken word, an overall self-centered attitude and sometimes whiny disposition, I seriously thought of four or five solid reasons why it would be OK to ditch my commitment to a friend like that.

So I left him a voice mail.

I left his joint at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and hoped to get home for about a 60-minute nap before two social engagements. Remember how I got turned down for that reality show? Well, the casting gal's assistant called to say I could either put myself back in the pool, that I had a good chance to be on a future show, or I could take myself out of the pool so I could ask out the casting girl, who apparently has some ethics. That should be a red flag right there.

So I met the casting girl for a drink at a very cool bar in what I'd either call the Lower East Side, Alphabet City or the East Village. I still don't have my NYC geography down just yet, but this bar, The Bourgeois Pig, was very cool. Casting girl and her friends were plenty of fun before I stepped out at 10 to meet friends Mary and Frank so we could hit a co-worker's holiday party, which we stayed at until about 3 a.m.

Saturday was quiet and somewhat productive. A friend came over and we watched "Reign Over Me." I've got a note for those of you who like Adam Sandler movies: He's supposed to be a funny guy, and he's not. And he keeps trying to make serious movies, and he fails at making them good. The story could have been good, and I even feel guilty ridiculing his effort in what has a 9/11 element to it. I just don't think I've ever enjoyed one of his movies.

Sunday was outstanding for one reason: The Cleveland Browns were on television. I got the groceries done, packed my lunch and got a few other things accomplished -- even hung some Christmas lights around the crib -- so I could get horizontal and enjoy that game.

Afterward, I was looking forward to watching the "60 Minutes" interview with NFL star LaDainian Tomlinson, but it turns out that wasn't Bob Simon's best story. He'd be a good softball pitcher, what with the following questions to Tomlinson, who's very active in the San Diego community with kids and charities:

+ "What's more important, what you do on the field or off of it?"
+ "Who gets more joy out of handing out toys, the kids? Or you?"

Dude, you don't ask questions when the answers are obvious. Of course LT is going to say off-the-field is more important, and that he gets more out of his community service than do his beneficiaries.

And though it was clear Simon put a lot of effort into the story -- they showed him interviewing LT back in the preseason -- that's no excuse for an out-of-date voice-over on television's most successful news magazine show. Simon's narration included a note about how the Chargers were struggling to match last year's success, that they "still might make the playoffs." The show aired a few hours after San Diego clinched the AFC West Division and a spot in the postseason.

Netflix gave me "Superbad" over the weekend as well. Much like its predecessors "Knocked Up" and "40-Year-Old Virgin," I wouldn't call this a very good movie, but there were certainly plenty of entertaining scenes or lines that juvenile men would appreciate. Which is why I would recommend it.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Jason Buroker Opening In Cincinnati Tonight

Jason Buroker's Art ShowEverybody's favorite phospherescent painter, Jason Buroker, is showing his work at Nancy Stephens' joint in Newport, Ky., tonight beginning at 5 p.m.

Jason's Web site gives you a glimpse at what his work is all about. Just a quick look at his pieces is impressive enough, but if you mouse over the images on his site, they'll give you what is basically a glow-in-the-dark effect. But his Web site does not do his work any justice. You MUST see it for yourself in person, and have him explain not only how he achieves the effect, but also what some of his more abstract pieces actually mean. You'll be blown away.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

USC-Memphis Videos

Turns out the connection at work was a little whacked, so I finally was able to upload some videos here. Again, lo-res, high-shake, video clips of last night's Memphis-USC game at Madison Square Garden:

USC-Memphis Clip No. 1

USC-Memphis Clip No. 2

USC-Memphis Clip No. 3


Jimmy V Classic

New friend Hale had an extra ticket to the Jimmy V Classic last night, and despite how much I complain about my early in time at work, it's hard for a hoops junkie to turn down a free ticket to any kind of basketball at Madison Square Garden, perhaps the sport's most historic venue.

Davon Jefferson(I took a few short video clips with my compact still camera, but am having trouble uploading them this morning, so I grabbed two still shots of slam dunks from last night's USC-Memphis game.)

And even though I've not fully gotten over this annoying cold, the chance to see three of the nation's top freshmen -- all projected first-round picks next June -- was something I could not pass up. My boy Jeff Gluck would have been proud.

Joey DorseyKansas State stud Michael Beasley -- I'll call him Michael Beastley -- is going to be a nice player. Great poise for a young player, but also very strong inside. Might not have great NBA size, but is one of those players who still finds a way to get to the ball. He was impressive in a televised overtime loss to Oregon last week, and was solid in a loss to Notre Dame last night.

But the game we really came to see was the second one, Memphis vs. Southern California. Hale is a Memphis grad and warned me that he could get irrational, but he was well behaved, which was a surprise taking into account his pregame disclaimer, as well as the Memphis fans I've heard over the years in covering/watching that nice rivalry with Cincinnati back in the day. Hale acknowledged as much when I told him I thought Memphis fans were among the most obnoxious I'd ever seen. "That's funny, a lot of Memphis people say the same thing about Cincinnati fans. But I'll admit, there are some from Memphis who would pee on you if you were wearing the wrong colors."

Anyway, I think we both expected a more up-and-down game than it turned out to be. Memphis' prized freshman, Derrick Rose, was a little out of control at times but still seemed like more of a complete player than I'd imagined. He had 10 points, but also led the team in rebounds, assists and steals.

And the other freshman, OJ Mayo, like Beastley, played with impressive ease for such a young kid. Like Greg Oden and LeBron James, he just looks five years older. He seems pretty strong, and brings a well-rounded game to the PAC-10. I already have the two USC-UCLA games marked on my calendar. Those will be exciting to watch in January and February.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

BCS Preview Section

Jim Rome used to say, "More of me and less of you is always a good thing."

Well, here's more of me, but it's a good thing only because it will likely make you laugh out loud at how bad I continue to be in the occasional on-air appearance. Click here for our new BCS page, and watch the video clips under the Bowl Banter header box.

Then, if you scroll down a little and look to the left, there's another College Football Road Map, bowl style. Enjoy!

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