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LJ Idol - Week [18] - Not the Slavery

The history of the United States is filled with glorious stories and heroes, triumphs of the spirit and tremendous tales of overcoming obstacles to reach success. But it also has a terrible, horrible element as well.

We, as a collective society, need to talk about slavery, as it does have a continuing impact on the lives of Black Americans. As any businessman will tell you, to make the largest profit, you have to keep your costs low. Well, nothing is lower than slavery, that’s for sure. And large profits were made. Such current companies as Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Barclay’s and New York Life, among many others, are documented as having made money from the slave trade in some form.

The wages that should have gone for the labor that would have lifted Black families up to a higher standard of living, three to four hundred years ago, multiplied over time? The playing field today would have been at least somewhat more level. Slaves endured abuse, punishment (which sometimes took unspeakable forms), and the murders of loved ones.

There was also the deliberate separation...Collapse )


So, I wanted to send you some "New York" style treats, and I wanted to send a couple more different ones. Maybe in a future send?

In the meanwhile, You have this!

First is the Stroopwafels... and I know what you're going to say. This is a Dutch product made in Canada! How is that "New York" related?

As you might have heard,

even old New York was once New Amsterdam!

NYC is steeped in a lot of Dutch tradition. And these Stroopwafels are definitely something of that. There's a lot of history and tradition in such stuff, so that's pretty great. Maybe I should have sent you a couple of sets, since this is a smallish grouping. If so, maybe I'll include more in another package.

I hope you like the Stroopwafels!!

Next, and more currently, comes the Serendipity3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix!

Serendipity3 is a restaurant and general store situated on 60th Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenues. It was co-founded by the great Andy Warhol. As the name implies... you'll often find things you weren't looking for there, and everything inside the restaurant is for sale! Even the beautiful Tiffany Lamp fixtures that adorn the booths and tables throughout the dining rooms can be purchased!

To the treat: Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is truly a one of a kind New York Experience! Oprah (unfortunately) talked at length about it on her show before she left, and for about a year after that, the lines to get a table went out the door. Lots of celebs like to dine there, for the truly decadent desserts, but this is their signature treat.

My one note is that you follow the directions as suggested on the envelope with one exception: instead of using milk, replace it with half & half! It makes it even better than the version they serve in the shop! I didn't even ask if you had a blender. Do you have a blender? I hope you do, because you really need to experience this, correctly. If you don't have a blender, maybe you can visit someone who does?

I included two envelopes so you might try it, share it, maybe do a YouTube of it? Because nobody can have just one Frrrozen Hot Chocolate!

Okay, well, enjoy!
The 1995 romantic comedy “Before Sunrise” seems like a peculiar place to tell the tale of the end of a website that began more than a decade after that film. But it is, in fact, the perfect place to begin.

In that movie, American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Frenchwoman Celine (Julie Delpy) on a train and they strike up a conversation that carries through an overnight stay in Vienna. Within their conversation, they discover elements of their personalities, their hopes and aspirations, their foibles and failings, their distinct world views, all with the backdrop of the Austrian capital as their playground, and they do it for each other in front of all of us in the audience.

Early on into the discussion...Collapse )
Jailee glanced around the area. She was supposed to meet Conroy quite some time ago. The Mannahatta Café was located on the top floor of a massive structure that was once reserved for people to buy and sell things. No Conroy. She scanned for any broadcast signals and looked for nanocams before she took a seat, placed her backpack in front of her, removed her shoes and rested her feet on her bag, ready to plot her next move.

If any cameras were there...Collapse )


LJ Idol - Week [15] - Trying Times

“Some say money is the root of all evil.” Frank Martin began, not waiting for the TED talk audience to end its opening applause. He posted a slide with stacks of Dollars, Euros and other international currency. Martin roamed the stage in his bespoke suit, and shoes that cost more than his first used car.

“Some say LACK of money is the root of all evil.” Martin changed the slide to a picture of himself being held on a sidewalk by two members of the NYPD. “Yes, that’s teenage me, ‘detained’ for suspicion of being a shoplifter in 1981. It got me my first appearance in the New York Post.” The audience laughed.

Seems like another planet.Collapse )


“Meredith, I want to tell you something. Last night, as I was thinking about the categories that might be used to stump me, one of the first ones I considered was ‘Classical Music.’”

Meredith Vieira smirked and nodded.

“Now, I have worked professionally as a DJ, so I own a considerable amount of music, but I don’t get to use much Classical in my line of work.”

Meredith gave a concerned look.

“However, there was a film soundtrack that I do own, for a fantastic motion picture starring Gary Oldman. It was called “Immortal Beloved.” It was the story of the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. And the very first track on that album is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony… in C Minor. Final answer.”

Well, no. Let's rewind.Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [13] - The End of Humanity

Humanity will end. And we just might live to see it.

Well, maybe that’s not phrased correctly. Maybe humanity has already ended. The elements that have, for so long, been the definition of that word, have eroded, evaporated, been excised.

The two most important planks that have been diminished in this way are so basic and so obvious, we have to wonder how we allowed it to happen. And yes, we are partners in our own demise when it comes to this. The first element is communication.

The simple act of expressing one's thoughts...Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [12] - A Monkey's Odyssey

Ringling Logo
I had been through an endless parade of schools: a pre-k, a different kindergarten, three different first grades (as my parents arranged their divorce), the same school from second to fourth, a year of terror, verbal and physical abuse in fifth, a settled three years for junior high, an all boys school in ninth grade before moving to the high school I would graduate from in tenth, and then on to college, the first time I ever spent four years at the same institution.

Always being the “New Kid” taught me an important lesson: using humor can get people to like you quickly, assuming you were actually funny and assuming they didn’t hate you on sight. By the time I was eleven, my role was defined: comedian. Unfortunately, humor didn’t make for lasting relationships of any kind, either friendships or romances. Or, perhaps it might have, had I stayed in any one place long enough.

Though most of the schools I attended were small...Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [10] - Not The Cheap Seats*

One of my favorite quotes from the infinitely quotable, brilliant philosopher/comedian George Carlin is the following:

“When you’re born into this world, you’re given a ticket to the Freak Show. If you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”

To me, that quote makes three distinctive statements. The first, obviously, is that Americans get to observe a lot of ridiculousness: behaviors that are rooted in privilege, in wealth, in nonsense that could only be done if you don’t have to worry about having potable water to drink, proper food to eat, clean air to breathe, ground to walk on that doesn’t contain land mines. These are your classic #FirstWorldProblems. And wow! The nonsensical stuff happening is simply staggering, though, admittedly, we’re the ones frequently involved, which leads to the second statement.

As front row ticket holders...Collapse )
On the day in question, Mr. Tronald Dump had just fired the entire staff of the Dump Building Headquarters without warning. Security ushered the now former staff members towards the exits.

Dump himself had confiscated a box one of the middle aged middle managers was trying to take along. The box was now on his enormous desk.

“Office supplies,” Dump muttered, pulling out a legal pad from the cardboard cube. “What else?”

Dump dumped the contents out. A mug that said World’s Best Daddy on one side with a picture of a smiling girl about age six on the other. Some crayon drawings and more photos of the little girl, all of which went right in the trash. And a brass lamp. It resembled the sort of ancient lamp that people in ancient times used to provide light.

He picked it up and examined it...Collapse )
The 4th and final entrant in the CBS Sweepstakes to take over for Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show is


@aishatyler on twitter

As previously stated, all 4 of these people already are a part of the CBS family, and Aisha doubly so: she is the current host of The CW's "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and one of the hosts of the CBS daily gabfest: "The Talk."

What some people may not know or remember is that Aisha is the only one of the 4 who has already had her own late night talk show! She came in and hosted E!'s Talk Soup for a long run.

Additionally, when Craig Kilborn departed the LLS for wherever he wound up going, Aisha was one of the many people given a shot at hosting for one night, back about ten years ago. So, she's been talking for quite some time!

Aisha has been involved with a lot of varied productions - from a serious arc on Day 4 of "24" to voice over work for her wild comedy cartoon "Archer" to being "The Black Girl on 'Friends,'" it's all in a day's work for Ms. Tyler.

"Ghost Whisperer," "CSI," "Hawaii Five-O," is there a CBS show that Ms. Tyler hasn't hit up yet? Of course, I think she might have an inside track to getting the Late Late job if she wants it: she sits right next to Julie Chen every day on "The Talk," and Chen is, of course, the wife of Les Moonves, Chairman of the CBS Network. If anyone can get a meeting for a shot at hosting the gig, Aisha is the one.

As I stated previously, Women and Persons of Color have had a very difficult time finding a place in late night television. With Aisha Tyler, you get a twofer! Where she may not have been the right person to take over for Kilborn when he left, she is definitely seasoned and ready to handle the job now. Certainly after being part of the round table of "The Talk," where with that many hosts, it's difficult to get in a question or a joke, she manages to stand out, and always keeps it fresh and fun. Imagine if she gets a chance to do that on her own!

If you want star power, Aisha is the only one of the 4 that is currently in the Top 1000 on IMDb (but the other three are all in the Top 5000, so there's plenty of star power to go around). And she is the only one of the four to be a Celebrity Jeopardy! Champion! I don't know if that makes her more qualified to host, but it's a pretty impressive achievement.

With her vast talents, her experience with interviewing, her intelligence and her comedy chops, Aisha Tyler is a formidable contender for the job of Late Late Show host!
Forget the search... we already have someone who replaced Craig Ferguson as the host of "The Late Late Show." His name is:


On twitter, he's @DrewFromTV

And it's absolutely true. Carey has already taken over the LLS. On April Fool's Day of this year, The current host of "The Late Late Show," the very outgoing (and, of course, outgoing) Craig Ferguson (and his on camera staff), swapped jobs with the current host of "The Price Is Right," Drew Carey (and HIS on camera staff) for a very entertaining couple of hours of teevee.

Unfortunately, Drew's full episode...Collapse )
Back in the days of Vaudeville, the best acts were the ones that were most versatile. The people who could do "One Man Shows" were always headliners, top billing, favorites of the audience and commanded a lot of attention and a lot of scratch.

And really, that's still at least a little bit true. If you look at who audiences clamor over - People like Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman, Maya Rudolph (who is bringing the Variety show format back to television, two weeks from tonight on NBC), these aren't just actors or comedians or musicians or dancers or raconteurs. They are performers that can do it all!

And that brings us to:


@waynebrady for the twitter followers

As I stated, the four people...Collapse )
I wanted to seriously examine the four people who are basically CBS "Artists in Residence" that would be a great fit for the role of Craig Ferguson's replacement as host of "The Late Late Show." And seeing as how


was the only one of the four who favorited the tweet I made listing off my top choices, she gets first dibs!

Subtle plug for her twitter... she's got more than a million followers, of course.

Now, let's be brutally honest...Collapse )
Back in late 2009 and early 2010, when I was looking at all of the Late Night Talk Show Hosts, the one I ranked lowest was Jimmy Fallon and the one I ranked highest was Craig Ferguson. Here we are, a third of the way through 2014 and Fallon is ruling late night in a way that hasn't been seen since Johnny was swinging an imaginary golf club, and Craig Ferguson is going to call it quits next year. I guess I really had no vision of the future!

But let's face it. Ferguson is a multi-talented fellow who I think will do ok without needing to host a talk show. His skills can and and will be put to better use in all of the areas that he will likely go. He has already done voice over work for film with the "How to Train Your Dragon" series. He's written several books, memoirs about his life and observations about his adopted country. He's making personal appearances, doing stand up comedy. In short, Ferguson, unlike his Craig predecessor, Mr. Kilborn, has a plan for what to do with his future and has the wherewithal to make it happen.

So, I guess this means...Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [7] - "No True Scotsman"*

Nobody else could celebrate like Jim
Or pour a shot or sing and raise his voice
To tell the truth, we all quite envied him.
Rum was fine, but Scotch was his first choice.
Underwear would drop at Jim’s sweet gaze
Everyone was charmed and that’s no doubt!
Sometimes the men would take up all his days
Come night, the ladies made him scream and shout.
One quiet Sunday evening at the bar
There were no customers for Jim to serve.
Self-serving as he was, got in his car
Made sure to drive safe, then he reached the curve.
And now we celebrate Jim as we cry,
No true Scotsman ever says goodbye.

*This piece was written for LJ Idol using the prompt: "No True Scotsman"

LJ Idol - Week [5] - Distractions*

A relatively long distance away, in a galaxy not very much like this one, the Great Head and fellow leaders in charge of a particular world, were not happy. It seemed that more and more people were replicating themselves: “breeding” if you want to be gauche about it. The fear was that these beings, dangerously outnumbering their leaders, might become unhappy and do something… unpleasant.

Now, there was enough food to feed...Collapse )
Let’s talk about America’s History
It’s full of lies and that’s no myst’ry
Thinkin’ ‘bout people yearning to breathe free
Who cast a whole race into slavery.
King George the Third was a greedy fool
But all his people were greedy too
‘Cause they thieved the land of the natives then
Made treaties which they broke again!
Through all of this there was one thing:
America despised the King.

When the slaves were freed...Collapse )

Letterman's Replacement?

The biggest entertainment news story of the week was David Letterman's announced retirement which will occur some time in 2015. And nearly everyone wanted to speculate about who would inherit the CBS 11:37pm spot once Dave departs.

There is a laundry list of regulars that might be up for the job. There are some prerequisites that should be met. Certainly having an audience would help. So, if you're already popular, maybe that would be a good thing. Could Brad Pitt host? Well, there is a laundry list of skills in talk show hosting. Those include improv, stand-up comedy, funny monologues, crazy characters, sketches, slapstick, anecdotes, parody. -- List stolen blatantly from Liam Neeson's brilliantly hilarious performance on "Life's Too Short"

So we can narrow the field down to someone with a comedy pedigree.

It helps to know the mechanics...Collapse )

The Americgun Way

You might have heard, yesterday, another troubled member of our society, down in Fort Hood, Texas decided to shoot the place up and managed to hit sixteen people, killing four, including himself.

I'm finally coming to terms with what should have been an obvious truth. There is going to be no gun control legislation in the United States. EVER. People are perfectly fine with the occasional massacre by someone who has some personal or mental problems and decides to take it out on a bunch of random people with some sort of rifle, pistol, assault weapon. Mostly, Congress is fine with it. But the population at large seems pretty okay with it as well. That's likely because it's not happening where most people happen to be. Littleton, CO. Newtown, CT. Have you been to Fort Hood? Neither have I, especially since the previous mass shooting there in 2009.

Of course, I live in a place where people are getting shot on a fairly regular basis, just usually not massacre style. So, I'm still pretty concerned.

There's such a zest, an almost religious fervor...Collapse )

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