Tag Archives: Alec Baldwin

David Letterman’s fabulous tribute to Pearl Jam. Fallon comes back to “SNL” and kills it. And final thoughts from a wonderful California vacation

And a Happy Monday to you all, we got back from our fun family vacation to Los Angeles and San Diego Sunday and while we’re all exhausted, it was an incredibly fun time (more thoughts at the end of this post).

Wanted to catch up on a few things I missed, and I’d heard this was amazing and so wanted to share after just watching it.

David Letterman seems to be slowly emerging from his shell after being out of the public eye following the end of his TV show. Last week, when Neil Young fell ill, it was Dave who got the honor of inducting Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony in New York.

The speech was beautiful, touching, funny and wonderful; whether you love him or Pearl Jam or both or neither, I think it’s terrific. An excerpt:

On being hypnotized by Pearl Jam’s classic “Black”:

You know the song “Black.” There was a period in my life when I couldn’t stop doing this [mimics the refrain]. Great. Now we owe them a lot of money. Honest to God that’s all I could hear running through my head. I kept wondering how many times does this refrain occur in the song. I finally had to go to my hypnotist to get it to stop [mimics the refrain again]. One night on the show I’m doing it and the stage door bursts open, in walks Eddie Vedder. He sings the song with Paul [Shaffer] and the band. Then he comes over to me and looks me right in the eye and he says, “Stop doing that.” And I was cured, ladies and gentlemen.

The whole speech is terrific, I highly recommend watching it.

**Next up, I never liked Jimmy Fallon all that much on “Saturday Night Live,” guy cracked himself up way too much and ruined some really good sketches by doing it.

But hey, Fallon has been a huge success as a talk-show host, and so returned to “SNL” over the weekend to host. This cold open they did with Alec Baldwin and Fallon and others was really funny…

**Finally today, a few more thoughts on our trip, which proved once and forever that we all really ought to move to San Diego:

— The highlight of the whole trip for our little guy was definitely Sea World; the excitement and joy he got out of seeing the dolphins, sea otters and sharks was indescribable; he squealed and laughed and said “Whoa!” so many times I lost track. They had a terrific “Pet Show Live” performance, too, with dogs and cats and other creatures.

I know, I know, the movie “Blackfish” talked about how horrible some of the animals are treated at Sea World. But we loved it and would definitely go back.

— I learned that if ever flying to Southern California, go through the Long Beach airport. It totally rocks. Small, easy to maneuver, rental car agencies right on site, just enough food options to satisfy, tons of outlets to plug into … just an all-around great airport. Highly recommend it.

— One thing my wife and I thought about on the way home are the casual lies we tell our children; a few times on the trip we told our little guy that a certain museum or park was “closed,” but really it was just that we didn’t have time to go there like we said we would. We went somewhere else, he was happy, and never knew the difference.

Casual lies, who do they hurt?

— JFK airport at 5:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning was way, way more crowded than I ever would’ve guessed. We took the red-eye from Long Beach to JFK late Saturday night and when we landed, man, it was like rush-hour on a Friday in there. Who knew so many people fly so early?

— Best meal in San Diego was breakfast on our final day. Richard Walker’s Pancake House, with pancakes the size of Lake Tahoe. Just delicious and enormous.

—  Finally, a shout-out to the JetBlue flight attendant who, after we landed Sunday, lifted up the car seat that contained our sleeping toddler, carried it 30 feet down the aisle to the gate without waking him. You, sir, deserve a raise. (Also enjoyed hearing the flight attendants on both flights make sly jokes about United and their recent disaster; they were also thrilled it wasn’t them who got embarrassed.)

Kate McKinnon belts out an unforgettable “SNL” opener. The Redskins and Chiefs look like they’re for real, while my Jets continue to stink. And Gregg Popovich speaks some truth

Kate McKinnon is a talented actress and comedian. She may go on to do many incredible things in her career, win awards, make lots of money, and entertain millions.

But I’m 99 percent certain that when she dies, this performance will be a part of her legacy, her eulogy, a mark of her time on Earth.

“Saturday Night Live” had a very tricky job this weekend; they could’ve trotted out Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and mocked the pain millions of Americans were feeling. They could’ve had McKinnon as Hillary try to go for laughs upon losing an un-lose-able election.

Instead, using the death of legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen as inspiration, “SNL” sent out McKinnon dressed as Hillary Clinton, sitting down at a piano all by herself, and belting out an emotional version of “Hallelujah,” with some lyrics changed at the end to suit the situation.

I don’t know about you, but I watched with my jaw on the ground. Amazing, powerful, beautiful performance.

Host Dave Chapelle’s opening monologue was pretty terrific as well, if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, the last three minutes are pretty great.

Bravo, SNL. Pitch-perfect job at giving  your audience what it needed.

Oh, and in case you had forgotten what the next four years could be like, read this.

cowboyssteelers_al042_54010957

**So it’s been a pretty crappy season of NFL football, I think most of us could agree. But Sunday finally gave us a day where we had great finishes, outstanding plays by superstars to win games, and a little bit of separation between the best teams and the not-so-bests. (Yeah I know that’s not really a word. I’m going with it).

Of course I have to mention just briefly the beginning of the Bryce Petty era for my Jets. Umm, yeah, didn’t go so well. They scored six points against a bad Rams team and the Jets are 3-7 so, yeah, go ahead and play Petty the rest of the season please, see if the kid has a future.

In more interesting games…

— Wow, that fourth quarter of Steelers-Cowboys was fantastic. Four lead changes, a hell of a drive by Ben Roethlisberger to put Pittsburgh ahead, and then Dak Prescott, who looks more and more like the next huge NFL star, comes down and leads the ‘Boys to the win. Cowboys are 8-1, and Jerry Jones is happy, and I don’t like it when that happens.

— Ever see the winning points of a game scored on a blocked extra point returned for two points? Me, either. But Denver did it and beat New Orleans. I love how players are totally timing jumping over the center to block kicks now, incredible athleticism.

— Anyone notice Kansas City was 7-2? I sure as heck haven’t. Another impressive win that few will pay attention to. I know everyone in Philly was sick and tired of Andy Reid, but guy seems to always have winning teams.

— Redskins seem to be good again, which is always fun because then I get fewer screaming calls from my buddy Tony that being with, ‘MIKE, THIS TEAM IS KILLING ME!!!” followed by me reminding him for 10 minutes to calm down and it could be worse, khe could be a Jets fan.

— The hell has happened to the Packers? No, seriously, they gave up 47 points to a mediocre Tennessee team on Sunday. That’s un-good.

— My mid-season Super Bowl prediction is Seattle vs. New England. Because even though they’re 8-1, not sure Dallas is a sure thing. Also, I want to see 500 more replays of Seattle throwing at the end of their last Super Bowl against the Patriots, because that was fun.

meteorphoto

**Finally today, check out this amazing photo, taken by Dutch photographer Tomas van der Weijden of the Kamchtaka Peninsula in Russia (you know, our new best friend, Russia!). It’s a volcano, it’s a meteor, it’s pretty amazing. If you’re a photo fan and want to know how he created it, check this out here.

And then, I thought this was some pretty remarkable stuff from San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, on last week’s election. Unlike most jocks and coaches, Popovich has always been a thoughtful, intelligent speaker of truths of what he sees around him.

And in this interview, he makes a whole lot of sense, in his angry, thoughtful tones, about what America chose last Tuesday.

We leased a new car this weekend and got a great deal and I still feel icky. SNL and Tom Hanks skewer the final Presidential debate. And the Jets show life while A.J. Green is amazing

jagr-halloween

This photo has nothing to do with anything I’m writing about, but it’s almost Halloween and he’s Jaromir Jagr and I laughed really hard looking at this picture. It’s classic.

It’s a cliche that’s not supposed to be true anymore. Car dealers aren’t supposed to be able to pressure you to buy these days. No, car-buying or leasing is now a democratic process, since consumers all have so much information at their disposals, and so many options and …

We went looking for a new car lease this weekend, what I thought would be the very start of the process. Our old Honda CR-V lease, which we love, is up in a few weeks, so we wanted to start looking around. I was 99 percent sure we would get another CR-V, because we love it, but you never know.

So yep, we were just going to go to the first place on Saturday, a Honda dealer in Nassau County (on Long Island, for you non New-Yorkers), get a quote, and be on our merry way to our other non-vehicle activities.

And yeah, Sunday evening we drove home a new CR-V. My head is still kind of spinning.
What happened is, the saleswoman and her manager almost literally refused to let us leave the store. Several times Saturday we said we were happy, we really liked the 2016 CR-V Touring they’d shown us, and we’d get back to them.

Then they kept lowering the payments. And lowered them. And threw in more stuff. And offered to make our last payment on our current car. And then he offered us some property in Miami Beach and any one of his three children. (OK not really. He only offered us two kids. He’s not an animal)

Finally, he came down so low on the price, basically a few dollars more than what we’re currently paying, that my wife and I agreed we won’t do any better anywhere else. So I shook the saleswoman’s hand and the manager’s hand and suddenly papers were being drawn up.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy we got a good deal. But the whole thing still felt kind of icky. First, the whole process of the salespeople constantly lowering the price makes me think, “if they could go that low the whole time, and still make a profit, why the hell are they starting so high and trying to screw me?”

Second, just the whole negotiating and literally almost blocking us from leaving made me feel slippery. Look pal, I know you have a sales quota, but do you really need to press THAT hard?

Anyway, we love the new car, and as soon as we figure out how to use all the new features I’m sure we’ll love it more.

It just felt … icky.

**Next up, I figure I might as well be consistent and run the final “SNL” Presidential debate sketch, since I blogged about the first two here. Happily, this one was just as funny as the rest of them.

When Kate McKinnon claims she got “Trump bingo” at the 2:10 mark, I just about snorted water out of my mouth. I also loved the “Nasty Woman” coffee mug she busts out.

Also, this is the best acting Alec Baldwin has done since, um, ever. Or at least since “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

 

**Finally today, as I mentioned before I didn’t get to see much football on Sunday, thanks to all the car shopping stuff, but catching up on highlights and seeing the occasional glimpse of the Jets game on the TV at the Honda dealership, I was surprised to see my Jets actually remembered how to win a game.

And of course, it was odd: Geno Smith, in his first start at QB since 2014, got hurt in the second quarter, so benched starter Ryan Fitzpatrick came on and led the Jets to the win. The same guy who stunk for the first six games this year suddenly played well. Of course, this being the Jets, Geno will probably be healthy, come back next week, and throw five picks.

But hey, the Jets are 2-5, who’s complaining!

**I don’t know who’s good or bad in this year’s NFL, but I’m pretty sure that A.J. Green of the Bengals made the catch of the year so far. Forget for a minute the Browns’ defense’s ineptitude here, Green’s just a sick athlete.

**Watched the last few minutes of overtimes of that putrid, horrible Sunday night Football game between Arizona and Seattle which ended in 6-6 tie, thanks to BOTH kickers missing field goals inside of 30 yards in overtime. Then was up all night in a cold sweat after reading this from the New York Times’ Nate Cohn about November 8:
“Mrs. Clinton’s chances of winning are now 93 percent, or about the same probability as an NFL kicker missing a 29-yard field goal.”

**Not football, but I have to mention somewhere in today’s post that the Chicago Cubs (the Cubs!) are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years. So many incredible storylines to this Indians-Cubs Series, and I’ll probably write a few hundred words about it for Wednesday’s post. But my favorite thing I saw Saturday night/Sunday morning was this:
The last time the Cubs were in the Series, African-Americans were not allowed to play major league baseball. Tuesday in Game 1, the Cubs’ Dexter Fowler (an African-American) will be the first batter.

That’s just beautiful.

A perfect response from a newspaper publisher, as Trump nutjobs threaten her office and employees. “SNL” hits another homer with debate skit. And the Cowboys are for real and the Panthers are toast

azrepublic

There are so, so many awful things going on now in the Presidential race, a race that gets uglier and uglier by the day. The GOP candidate keeps talking more and more about cheating and rigged elections and whipping up his supporters into such a frenzy, and it’s having such a deleterious effect. The hatred, the vitriol, the sheer “war mentality” that we’re saying every day on the news is just so vile. For a long time I tried to fool myself by saying “This will all go away on Nov. 9, when the schmuck goes back to TV where he can be a harmless buffoon again,” but now I wonder just how long his poison will seep into our society.

One of the things that as an ex-newspaper scribe I’ve paid a lot of attention to is papers that never have endorsed a Democrat, or haven’t for 100 years or something, telling its readers it should vote for Hillary Clinton. Because Trump is just that toxic. What has happened, sadly, is those newspapers have been subject to harassment, death threats, and all kinds of awfulness.

For the most part, the newspapers haven’t gone public with it. But the Arizona Republic’s publisher didn’t want to stay quiet, and she wrote this amazing essay about exactly what has happened since the Republic endorsed Clinton. Mi-Ai Parrish wrote one of the best things I’ve read all year; I urge you to read it.

Quick excerpt: “To those who said we should be shut down, burned down, who said they hoped we would cease to exist under a new presidential administration, I give you Nicole. She is our editor who directs the news staff, independent of our endorsements. After your threats, Nicole put on her press badge and walked with her reporters and photographers into the latest Donald Trump rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz. She stood as Trump encouraged his followers to heckle and boo and bully journalists. Then she came back to the newsroom to ensure our coverage was fair. Nicole knows free speech requires an open debate.

Parrish’s defense of liberty and press freedom is fantastic; she is absolutely right to call out these criminals for what they are. And the last few lines hit home.

Nov. 9 can’t get here soon enough.

**Next up today, every week “Saturday Night Live” has been given incredible material from this Presidential campaign, and you would think it might be hard to keep making up quotes that are funnier or more ridiculous than those surrounding the vulgar, talking yam Mr. Trump.

But gotta give it up to “SNL,” they keep bringing the funny. This was maybe my favorite skit yet, especially the opening “sizing up” by the two candidates, and then Kate McKinnon’s remarks about the four women from Bill Clinton’s past who were present at the debate.

McKinnon’s going to become quite famous the next four years…

dakprescott

**Finally today, yesterday was one of those joyous Sundays where I didn’t have to watch the New York Jets lose. OK, OK, it’s because they don’t play until tonight. Still, a happy day! Some quickie-thoughts on another NFL Monday where I’m reminded no one knows anything about what will happen in this league…

–OK, this Dak Prescott thing is no longer a fluke, nice little story about a quarterback filling in for a starter and maybe giving the Cowboys a QB controversy. No, after Dallas thrashed Green Bay on the road, 30-16 Sunday to improve to 5-1, there’s no way on Earth Tony Romo should get his job back. Prescott finally threw an interception, but he’s looking like a 10-year vet, and it looks like he’ll be a huge star in this league.

Which means, because he plays for the Cowboys, we’ll all start hating him soon.

— The Cowboys are for real, and the Carolina Panthers are toast. Super Bowl runner-ups are inexplicably horrible this year. I mean, I know a lot of Super Bowl losers have tough seasons the next year, but this bad? The pride of Charlotte gave up 41 points to a bad New Orleans team, and even a late furious rally couldn’t prevent them from going 1-5. Cam Newton looks pedestrian, the defense stinks, and they’re not going to the playoffs this year. Wow.

— Hey, a Colin Kaepernick sighting! On the field, and not just during the national anthem! The 49ers QB who has sparked a whole lot of athlete activism the last two months actually played in a game Sunday. He didn’t play great but wasn’t terrible, either, going 13-of-29 for 187 yards and a touchdown. But he also wore a cool Muhammad Ali T-shirt to his post-game press conference, so I enjoyed that. Let’s hope Kaepernick starts playing well and continues to get his message out.

“I don’t understand what’s un-American about fighting for liberty and justice for everybody,” Kaepernick said. “For the equality that this country says it stands for.”

Exactly. Keep talking, Colin.

— Do the Giants play more crazy games than anybody else, or does it just seem that way? Eli and enormous brat Odell Beckham Jr. pulled another one out of the hat Sunday over the Ravens.

— Finally, very few people care but my man Cody Kessler had another terrific game for the winless Cleveland Browns, throwing for 336 yards in a 28-26 loss. If you want to know why I root so hard for Kessler, check this out.

Harvard’s shocking upset caps a great day of hoops. A kid asks Kate Upton to the prom, and she says maybe. And a man proposes to his anchorwoman girlfriend on live TV

harvard_web-articleLarge
We begin Good News Friday with the glorious news of a huge upset in the NCAA Tournament Thursday.
In case you didn’t stay up late and missed it, after a day of near-titanic upsets that didn’t happen, the scrappy kids from Harvard, a No.14 seed, beat powerful New Mexico, a No. 3 seed, Thursday night just before midnight.

They didn’t do it with anything fancy, no tricks or incredibly unusual plays. Just a solid, well-coached team beating a powerhouse who thought they could just walk in and roll over the “smart kids.”

It was a wonderful topper to a pretty good first day of Madness, of which I imbibed about 9 hours of.
Some quickie thoughts on a fun Day 1 of the Tournament:
— As great as I feel for Harvard, you have to bleed a little for the kids from Davidson and from Southern. Davidson, a 14 seed that’s a mid-major fixture at the NCAAs, was up six points against No.3 Marquette with a minute to go, and lost by a point, 59-58. The Wildcats made only one mistake and it killed them.

And Southern, a tiny school in Louisiana, came thisclose to being the first No. 16 seed to beat a No.1 seed, taking Gonzaga to the wire before falling by six. Southern tied the game at 56 with three minutes to go and upset-lovers like me were going nuts. But the Jaguars just couldn’t quite get it done, and were understandably devastated afterwards.(Here’s a great story from the NYT about what life as a No. 16 seed is like)

— It’s only the first day of the tournament, and I’m already sick of the Charles Barkley/Alec Baldwin Capital One commercials. Good Lord CBS and TNT run those things every timeout, it seemed.
— Thursday night near the end of Louisville’s beatdown of N.C. A&T these guys a few stools away from me started whooping and hollering and screaming “yes” and “no!” in the final minute of a 30-point blowout. Of course, they had money on the game, and only cared about covering the point spread or the over/under or some idiotic thing like that.

Call me a prude or a purist or whatever, but I hate, hate, hate people who watch sports games just because they bet on them. Totally ruins the fan experience to me, if that’s the ONLY reason you care.

— Watching the Tournament at a bar has lots of advantages, but one definite disadvantage is I don’t get to hear the announcers, so I didn’t get to hear Bill Raftery yell “Onions!” all day. I love me some Raftery. Just found out he’s doing the best game of the day on Saturday, VCU vs. Michigan, at 12:15 p.m. Both those teams looked very impressive Thursday.

**This was just the cutest thing. A local television news anchorwoman in Huntsville, Ala. named Jillian Pavlica was reading the news when her teleprompter told her there was some “Breaking News” to report.

Little did she know as she started reading that “she” was about to become the subject of the breaking news, as her boyfriend had planned to propose live on the air.

Pretty awesome.

**Finally, young Jake Davidson needed a date to the prom. So he made this video asking gorgeous supermodel Kate Upton if she’d go with him. It’s hilarious and self-effacing and was just cute enough to work; Upton saw it after it went viral and she said she’d check her schedule but would definitely like to go.
Even better, after watching Jake’s video above, check out this clip from the “Today” show Thursday where Kate Upton called in and talked to Jake while he was being interviewed; so sweet.

The Election in 100 seconds, in case you missed it. A movie mash-up on steroids. And an awesome girl destroys boys on football field

Since Tuesday night was so much about “girl power” in politics, let’s start today with the story of 9-year-old from Utah named Sam Gordon, a youth football player who positively unstoppable as a running back.

Man, she looks like a terror to try to stop.

**Well yeah, I’m still on a pretty big high from Tuesday night. If you haven’t yet seen Barack Obama’s victory speech, it’s on the of the best he’s ever given in my opinion; let’s hope he follows through and actually presses some of these issues. Above is a 100-second recap of the night; a couple more quick thoughts now that I have had some time to digest:

— The two biggest reasons the Democrats and Obama did so well Tuesday night? The Tea Party and its extreme candidates. Five or six major Tea Party-backed Senate candidates lost very winnable races Tuesday night, because they were so extreme. (Alec Baldwin said it best: “You know your party is in trouble when you read this: A, “The rape guy lost,” and the response is “Which one?”)

If the GOP had put up reasonable moderates in Indiana, North Dakota, Missouri and Connecticut, there’s a very good chance they’d have won.

–Amazing to see how winning the white vote doesn’t matter so much anymore. What a changing country, demographically, is doing is proving that you can’t just appeal to Caucasians anymore.

— My favorite quote of the day Wednesday comes from Rush Limbaugh. “We’re outnumbered.” Yes, you racist, sexist xenophobe, you absolutely are.

— Can’t wait to see who Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson decides to support in 2014 and 2016. Guaranteed wins for the Democrats he opposes.

**So I thought this was very cool and dizzying; someone has taken the Top 250 most popular movies on IMDB.com and mashed them up into a 2 1/2 minute video.

If your head doesn’t spin, you’re better than me. (Warning: some language is Not Safe for Work)

“Rock of Ages” wildly entertaining and ridiculous. A rap song about sippy cups. And Wimbledon, my favorite event, begins

After enjoying the hell out of “Rock of Ages” on Broadway a couple years ago, there was no way I wasn’t going to see the movie.
And after seeing it on Friday night, I can happily report this: It’s thoroughly, awesomely entertaining, and also completely, utterly ridiculous. So, about what I expected.
If you saw the play, you know the story: Bright-eyed starlet comes to Hollywood in the late 1980s, takes a job at a famous dive bar, meets up and coming singer/bartender, and hilarity and heartache ensue.

Julianne Hough is no Meryl Streep here, but she does a good job in the Sherrie role. Diego Beneta gets the “Drew” role, and he’s OK.
And Tom Cruise, who I mocked and cringed about after he was cast? He was terrific as insane rock star Stacee Jaxx.
But the real revelations are Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, who steal the show with a brilliant man/love relationship, culminating in a wonderful dance to REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”
There were way too many people in the movie (Bryan Cranston and Mary J. Blige were basically wasted in their roles), and of course the story was ludicrous, but man did my fiance and I have fun at the movie. We sang, out loud and in our seats, many of the great songs (there were only about 10 other people in the theater, FYI) that were the soundtrack of our Gen X childhoods.

No, it won’t win any Oscars. But I doubt I’ll have a better time at any movie this year.

**And now, something I feel certain you’ve never seen before: A 2-minute rap song about a kid having milk in his sippy cup.
You’re welcome.

**Ah, Wimbledon. When tennis nuts like me wax poetic about the splendor of grass, the strawberries and cream, the majesty of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club… God I love it. It begins today, and I actually tried to go in person this year for the first time ever (I toured the grounds on a trip to England in 2007, but it was in March, so, you know, not the same), but tickets were impossible to get. Still, I will get there one day.

As for this year’s tournament, I’m amazed at how many people in the tennis media are picking Roger Federer to win it. Don’t get me wrong, Fed is a God to me and I’d be as happy as any Fed-phile if he did win it again. But I feel like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are just pretty far ahead of everyone else right now, and I can’t see anyone but the two of them raising the trophy two weeks from now.

But hey, it’d be a fantastic story to see Federer win it. But the pick here in Djokovic on the men’s side, and, what the hell, Serena Williams on the ladies side.

Missing the excitement of the ’08 Prez race. Alec Baldwin, behaving badly again. And the worst idea for an ad, maybe ever

I’m trying. I’m trying real hard, Ringo.
I’m trying to get into this 2012 Presidential race. I am a political junkie of the highest order. I love browsing political websites, reading commentary from the left and the right, and arguing politics with friends and foe alike.

And I am paying attention. I shake my head at Mitt Romney’s lies. I tentatively applaud in my head as Barack Obama moves leftward, although he’s still nowhere near as liberal as I’d like.

But I’ve gotta admit it: I miss 2008.

I miss waking up every day for six months wondering whether Hillary or Barack was ahead. I miss the daily dose of Sarah Palin idiocy. I miss the mud-slinging back and forth in the Democratic primary, the thrill and excitement of primary nights, the hours and days I spent working the phones and pounding the pavement on behalf of Obama in Seminole County, Fla.

I miss ALL OF IT.

I feel like that guy in the relationship whose girlfriend left a long time ago, but he’s still sitting around missing her. I know now, and knew then, that ’08 was a once in a lifetime kind of election. Either the first African-American or the first woman was going to be a major party nominee, and then we had a guarantee of either a woman VP or an African-American POTUS.

But still, knowing that ’08 was a one-off, I just don’t feel the same energy or enthusiasm or excitement this time around. I’m sure come fall I’ll be totally jazzed, but right now, I’m just not feeling it.

**Alec, Alec, Alec. How much trouble you seem to have playing nice with others.
In case you missed it, Alec Baldwin, who’s rapidly becoming 1980s-era Sean Penn, had yet another public fight Tuesday. This time it wasn’t an airline flight attendant he was harassing, it was a photographer for the New York Daily News.

Seems Alec was angry that there were some photographers outside the New York City marriage license bureau Tuesday morning, and he threatened one of them before assaulting another.
Look, I’m no defender of paparazzi, but Baldwin seems to have been out of control here.
And just look at those photos. Does look like a man who did no harm?
He’s a lunatic who ought to get a grip. And comparing himself to Trayvon Martin (read the link) was outright disgusting.

**And finally, another horrendously bad idea that surely came out of a meeting between executives who think they’re brilliant.
Harvey Nichols is a British department store, and to promote their upcoming sale, they decided to run the following ad, above.
Yes, they are really saying “you will pee in your pants with excitement!”

Because, you know, there’s nothing like seeing a woman with pee stains on her pants to make me wanna go shopping at THAT store!

A “Rock of Ages” casting tragedy I can’t ignore. Sayonara, NBA season. And a terrific “SNL” skit you shouldn’t miss.

OK I know I may be like, months behind upon learning this news, but since I just found out about it I feel the need to vent immediately.

I saw the terrific Broadway show “Rock of Ages” a couple of years ago. It was 100 percent up my alley, with awesome 80s music, really funny dialogue in the script, and excellent performances.
And yes, I’d heard they were making a movie out of the show, some big Hollywood blockbuster.

But now I discover that Tom FREAKING Cruise is playing one of the leads?  Tom Cruise is playing Stacee Jaxx, the dreamer of a rock star who believes Def Leppard and Poison are on the road to eternal happiness? Tom Cruise???

Look, I loved Tom Cruise when he was sane. Big fan of almost all of his movies. “All the Right Moves,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Rain Man,” you name it.
But he is SO terribly wrong for this part. And the rest of the cast looks fantastic, too; Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, etc.
I just hope Cruise doesn’t wreck this movie for me.  If he ruins “Pour Some Sugar On Me” for the rest of my life, I’ll never forgive him.

**Well, it looks like there won’t be an NBA season. The players rejected the owners’ latest proposal, David Stern threw a hissy fit and blamed agents and threw around terms like “nuclear winter,” and it’s all getting really nasty.

My reaction? Yawn. The NBA Finals were exciting last year, but mostly because it was fun seeing LeBron fail. The pro basketball product has interested me in years; I much prefer the college scene. (For example, a certain Coach whose last name starts with K is going for the all-time wins record tonight. There’s a slight chance I may watch).

As always in these fights between billionaires and millionaires, I feel sorry for neither side. I do feel bad for the vendors, concession stand workers, and local businesses near NBA arenas in NBA cities, who will suffer greatly because of this idiotic stalemate.
Those are the true victims here.

**Finally, I never watch “SNL” anymore but one of the people I follow on Twitter pointed me to this gem from last week’s show. Really, really funny. It involves Adele, a good cry, parakeets, and window washers who get emotional. What more could you want in a four-minute video clip?

The Oscars break a glass ceiling, a tribute to a great music teacher, and love for Mr. Mom

Scale of 1 to 10 on last night’s Oscars? I’m going with a 7.7.

Pretty good Academy Awards show, I thought. No major surprises, no unbelievably memorable moments, but pretty good stuff all around, which I’ve come to expect. Maybe it’s me, but it seems like after being bad for a few years, the Oscars have been good for a while now.

Only wish we didn’t have SUCH predictability. Seems like we used to get more upsets. Marisa Tomei winning, or Roberto Benigni (best speech ever, just a totally insanely happy man on the best day of his life), those were genuine stunners.

Still, Sunday night had some moments, good and bad. My quick thoughts:

— OK, Kathy Ireland, you’re beautiful, and you’ve aged beautifully. But oh my God, you were the worst excuse for an interviewer in the history of the world. I mean, if awfulness were people, you’d be India. Dear God, I yearned for Ryan Seacrest, she was so bad!

— Thought Sandra Bullock had the speech of the night; you could tell she knew that unlike Meryl Streep (who shoulda won), this was one her shot ever at Oscar. She seemed really heartfelt, and I’m glad she thanked the Tuohy family (the real-life family in “The Blind Side” ) in her acceptance.

— Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were better than I thought. Some of the opening jokes were great (The Meryl Streep-Hitler one was particularly funny, and the Steve Martin joke to Christoph Waltz about hunting for Jews was brilliant), and they kept the show moving pretty well.

— Why are we subjected to the god-awful musical numbers that go on for 412 minutes every year? Does anyone enjoy these?

— Tell you what I always DO enjoy: The Dead People Montage. I love honoring those who are no longer with us one last time, for all the good work they did while they were breathing. I do feel sorry, though, for the behind-the-scenes people they honor who never really get much applause from the audience. Patrick Swayze? Big hand from the crowd. Cinematographer guy no one’s ever heard of? Only crickets are heard.

— I knew they were going to do something for my man John Hughes, but it was better than I’d hoped. Loved seeing “The Breakfast Club” group up there. Would it have been too much to ask for them all to break out into the “dancing in the library” scene from the movie? And Anthony Michael Hall, wow, he looked totally different.

— Mo’Nique won for best supporting actress and gave a real nice speech. And no one’s making a big deal that an African-American woman got an Oscar.

I’d say that’s progress, wouldn’t you?

— Hard to believe no woman had ever won best director before; about damn time someone did. Way to go, Kathryn Bigelow. And I love that her enormously egotistical ex-husband James Cameron had to sit there and watch her win.

Just discovered that “The Hurt Locker” is already on my cable box pay per view on Demand channel. Definitely going to watch it soon.

— And finally, from my wife, who pays way more attention to Oscar fashion than I do: “Miley Cyrus, stand up straight! And that dress is totally inappropriate for a 16-year-old!”

Amen.

**So sometimes I think I’ve posted something on here that I’ve actually only emailed to a bunch of people I know (What can I tell you? I’m a fool.)

I thought I had posted this last week, but apparently, not so much. This beautiful story from the the New York Times last week, by Joanne Lipman, is about her old music teacher. When he died, his old students came together for a final tribute concert. It’s a really beautiful story.

**And finally, because that John Hughes Oscar tribute was so good, and because I feel this movie is criminally underappreciated, a funny scene from “Mr. Mom.” (I tried to find the Schooner Tuna commercial, but dammit, it’s not on Youtube.)