Saturday, April 28, 2007

The greatest sweepstakes ever

SoftSoap is giving away a Laura Bennett dress! Remember Laura? Remember those dresses? My God, this is genius!

Although someday soon, I hope Colgate-Palmolive re-names that product. Really -- Nutra-Oil?

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Both common people and intellectuals find your work completely incoherent. Means you're a genius."

Woody Allen line or how I psych myself up to face each day?

ADDED: God, I'm really hoping you've seen the movie. Otherwise I look like a complete ass. Well, OK, most days I look like a complete ass no matter what. I just mean, you know, more so.

The Bay City Rollers and telling scenes from my childhood

That new Planter's spot? S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y ni-ight? I know it's supposed to make me want to buy peanuts but all I think about instead is Howard Cosell. See: even as a NotBillable tot, I was fascinated by bad TV.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is it Melinda?

Ryan Seacrest has just promised us the most shocking result ever on Idol and suddenly I'm afraid for my favorite.

7:36: Are you following along with Idolator's live-blog? Best observation so far -- "Ben Stiller's voice: Better than Sanjaya's?"

7:37: Whew! Melinda's safe. Let's celebrate with some Sarah Vaughan!

7:51: Blake's safe. His charm eludes me. Is he not Earl Mott from Ruthless People?

8:35: Idolator thinks that "Kelly Clarkson seems to have gotten dressed somewhere in Boca Raton in 1968." I'm kinda hoping that's a Uli dress, just so all my favorite reality worlds can collide.

8:39: LaKisha's safe. That has to mean Jordin is going home, right?

8:41: Isn't this the song Elliott sang last season? Even if it isn't, I'd rather listen to Elliott than watch this creepy Celine-Elvis duet. Stop re-animating the dead! Just stop!

8:44: Madonna!

8:48: I'm an hour and 48 mintues into this thing and I haven't given into cynicism. I just don't see why Idol Gives Back could be a bad thing. But I am switching back and forth between this and Wednesday Night Fights on ESPN2. You too?

8:53: Annie Lennox: Let's turn back and see if Jason Litzau is up yet.

8:59: If it's Jordin, I swear I am gonna cry big blubbery tears.

9:09: Goddammit! Althouse was right: no one goes home.

The heartwarming story of an ex-con who just wouldn't give up

Martha Stewart gets a new product line at Michaels. Which leads me to wonder what store doesn't have a Martha Stewart product line?


From today's NYPost: "Internet ad firm 24/7 Real Media is on the auction block and has already been talking to Martin Sorrell's WPP Group, the world's second-largest ad giant, among other potential suitors."

Is no one going to mention Jerry Lewis?

Jordin Sparks sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" beautifully and no one remembers that this is the song Jerry Lewis always performs at the end of his telethon. America, it's like I don't even know you.

But Zap2It does get points for realizing it's a Rodgers and Hammerstein selection from Carousel. Well done sir! That's what I like about Zap2It's Daniel Fienberg. While Television Without Pity can occasionally toss out a good line -- "Blake is wearing probably his most awesome outfit in the history of Blakeology, and sings 'Imagine' by John Lennon, because he is a pothead" -- I always prefer the more knowledgeable critiques of Fienberg, one of the few recappers out there who can so deftly blend Mod Squad callbacks with classical mythology. This line is my favorite: "Melinda couldn't have burst from Simon's head any more fully formed."

Monday, April 23, 2007

This requires months of preparation. And the courses had to be fixed up too.

The Byron Nelson tournament is here and that can mean just one thing. Yes! It's time for Pavilion photos. C'mon now -- don't be shy!

Sorta surprising?

Or kinda like a couple that's been sleeping in separate rooms for a while?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"That sale influenced our estimate on the nudes."

I just skimmed this article -- because without any pictures it didn't really hold my interest -- but I think the main takeaway is this: if you want hedge-fund billionaires and soon-to-be-jailed Russians to buy your art, you need to paint some naked ladies.

I just want to emphasize one thing

No amount of hype is too much for Spider-Man 3. Hell, I might start camping out in line today.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Take the photos down too. Please.

Dr. Michael Welner, Forensic Psychiatrist, New York University School of Medicine, on NBC's decision: "The notion of parents and loved ones who contemplate what the last thing somebody that they cared about might have been going through, or the last image that that person might have seen, opening up their computer to see Cho Seung Hui pointing a gun at them is unfathomable, and I’m saying this as someone who has board certification in disaster medicine. I’m saying this as a clinician. You cannot do that to people who have been exposed to an emotional trauma, to essentially stick it in their face...."

It's stunning that the same media people who so eagerly questioned the effectiveness of campus police, of gun laws, of faculty and university healthcare systems -- these people really aren't all that interested in any criticism about their own performance right about now. No. All they want to do is high-five each other over their exclusive then maybe change the subject to Alec Baldwin. So many news channels. Is there a sensible, decent soul among them?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How not to win public support

Busting a VFW post for a poker game seems a bit much, don't you think? At a time when police resources are so stretched they won't respond to burglar alarms, it seems like other issues might take priority.

Internationally renowned and, oh yeah, "equal to the best in state"

Ever since Brian Sweany left D Magazine for Texas Monthly, FrontBurner has been a little less of a must-read. Indeed even the humor now is sometimes unintentional. Just the other day, a discussion of The Richards Group Adweek grade (C+! panic! medicate!) brought this reader comment: "Their work remains, in my opinion, the best in North Texas, equal to the best in the state...."

That's, like, well, it's just the biggest insult I've ever seen anyone level at The Richards Group. "Best in North Texas?" Not quite "you don't sweat much for a fat girl" but close.

I don't know if Stan Richards ever scans FrontBurner but if so, let's hope he always wears the turtleneck. He's 74 years old now and no one wants to see that carotid artery start to twitch.

Did you feel bad for making Sanjaya cry?

At first I did -- he's only 17! -- but then, when he started to sing again, I was glad he's out. Finally.

ADDED: By "out," I meant "eliminated from the competition." What did you think I meant?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"This is spring in North Texas"

From the Dallas Morning News: "The twister touched down at a Minyard supermarket, then cut a path east along State Highway 121. 'It touched down right in the middle of the building,' said 20-year-old Michael Clay, a Minyard employee. 'Right between aisle 5 and 6.'"

I was enjoying this sense of exactness -- reminiscent somehow of a Ray Stevens song -- and then: "'I don't have a job now, but I'm so glad to be alive,' Mr. Clay said."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Suddenly Town & Country's April issue is noteworthy

She's the star of the special green issue. See? She's on page 29, 142 and 144 -- the youngish Deirdre Imus about whom editor Pamela Fiori gushes: "I'd follow Deirdre Imus anywhere." Eh. Maybe not so much this week though.

It's nice to see Drew Barrymore finally get a break

CoverGirl has named their latest celebrity endorser and there's a special bonus in the deal: "In a first for the Proctor & Gamble-owned brand, a cover girl will go behind the camera to direct the commercial, a first for the child star, as well."

You know me. I'd love to make fun of this somehow. The truth is, though, I admire CoverGirl. They seem to choose women who are as interesting as they are beautiful, including Christie Brinkley (50 and cheated on = interesting) and my all-time personal favorite Queen Latifah. I just don't know if I admire Drew Barrymore. What with the drugs, the Playboy photos, the David Letterman-flashing, and the hot lesbian sex with Jane Pratt -- well, you wouldn't have always assumed she was headed for a partnership with P&G. But there she is, complete with a glowing news account that focuses on her United Nations volunteer work. So she wins. She gets to define herself. And direct. I guess I do admire that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

Why are most "cult classics" never really, you know, good?

Are you watching the original Battlestar Galactica on Ion?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure"

That's probably my favorite line from any song and it's written by my very favorite songwriter. Go ahead: say it out loud. I dare you not to feel swellegant as "rotogravure" rolls off your tongue. And isn't that a brilliant rhyme? Yeah it is!

So happy day to you. May you always be all in clover.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Are you cold?

So am I.

Think I'm gonna take the Excursion out for a long drive just to see if I can get that whole global warming thing started back up.

The rare compliment for a New York baseball team

Doesn't this sound fun: "The Mets created a perfect bridge to the fans for Reyes last season when they came up with the Professor Reyes segment on the leftfield DiamondVision screen. In the show, Reyes picks a Spanish word, such as guapo (handsome) or veloz (fast), and selected fans try to pronounce it, with Reyes critiquing their efforts. It was one of the most popular segments, and Reyes taped new episodes during spring training." Yes, Jose Reyes seems every bit as likeable as a young Tony Perez -- the highest praise I can give to any athlete.

I'd compare the Professor Reyes effort to something the Texas Rangers would do but the Rangers could never be so charming. Best not to speak of the lazy, joyless, unimaginative, cynical advertising coming out of that front office. Well OK. There was that one nice TV spot created by the Richards Group years ago. Remember -- the one with the hotdog vendor? Yeah, the Rangers don't have time for your bridges between players and fans.

Helvetica: hell yeah!

The favorite typeface of modernists everywhere is 50 years old this year. Clean, understated celebration at MoMA.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Mang Ling prepares sushi at the sushi bar in the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Plano"

It's not just the most poetic photo caption ever; it's our clue that Wal-Mart and Target are taking over: "the Dallas region continues to be a microcosm of the nationwide grocery business as supercenters continue to gain market share."

We're a microcosm! So exciting. Better yet, this means a chain I hate is at last realizing the error of its ways. "Albertson's didn't react to trends in the industry, such as stocking stores right for a neighborhood demographic....'Unlike Kroger and Safeway, the company did not have a clear focus on improving its merchandise and only concentrated on cost-cutting efforts, such as exiting from unprofitable markets and improving its supply chain.'"

Hard to believe all that effort put into self-checkout and the Shop'n'Scan didn't pay off for Albertson's. You'd think any gadget with two apostrophes would be a hit. And honestly, who could have predicted that grocery shoppers would care more about food than technology? Oh that's right -- Albertson's competitors could! "The conventional supermarket operators are also challenged by the expansion of specialty food chains....Kroger spent more than $2 million to remodel its Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue store, one it considers strategic in the Dallas battle. The project included an expanded wine department with a walk-in wine cooler." A walk-in? See? Everything is better in a microcosm.

Welcome to Bizarro Idol

Paula's coherent but the guests are drunk. Best season ever!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Paging Mr Blamer, Mr Stephen Blamer

It's come to a point where the only commentary I want to read on the Julie Roehm-DraftFCB story would be the honest, unfiltered opinions of Steve Blamer. Where is he? Maybe being paid $7 million for handing everything over to Howard Draft precludes his stepping forward to offer any compelling insight into Draft's very special way of doing business. A huge loss. Imagine: the personal observations about pricey client dinners, the telling little anecdotes about who leaked what to which publications -- all silenced. Now, we're left alone to try to make sense of sentences like this: "Despite the recent turmoil, Bear Stearns analyst Alexia Quadrani still feels DraftFCB is a 'good brand' with a strong leader in Howard Draft."

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wiki-sex and the single girl

Despite all the carping and criticism, I like the new Monocle. So compact and varnish-free -- I wept for its beauty. Also: quel internationale! If I ever do get around to reading the articles, I think they'll be just great.

In fact, in all the excitement, I had to look up Tyler Brûlé's bio on Wikipedia to learn more. Oh, so much more. After a concise and informative first paragraph, there's a second part that's oddly separated out and given its own subtitle.

Which is "Sexuality."

That's either completely crass or the height of worldly sophistication -- I can't tell. (By way of comparison, Camille Paglia's bio contains no such call-out, although she is described as wearing "pants in a very aggressive way.") When your wiki bio is written -- if it hasn't been already -- will you merit a "Sexuality" subtitle? Why or why not? Please open your blue books and begin.