Tag Archives: Larry David

Alligator-themed kids birthday parties are a thing in Germany. A beautiful moment as Taylor Swift helps Fallon deal with his Mom’s death. And “Curb” a major disappointment so far this season

Not surprising to anyone who has small children, but I’ve been going to a lot of kids’ birthday parties lately. And I’ve learned that with small adjustments, they all pretty much follow the same format: Kids run around and play, grownups call them to the table for pizza and singing “Happy Birthday” to the birthday boy or girl, and then cake is had, maybe some more running around, and bam, everyone goes home.

However, if you live in Hesse, Germany until last week, you had the chance to experience an awesome and terrifying birthday party way different than the boring ones we have here in the States.

Check this out: The Freidberg zoo let adults and children, even at birthday parties, swim with crocodiles and alligators without a cage or any other barrier between man and reptile, as long as a guide was present.

It’s part of their goal to show people that crocs really aren’t that dangerous, and for 15 years the zoo has been letting kids and adults swim with a guide for fun.

How awesome would swimming with crocs be at a  7-year-old’s birthday party? Incredibly awesome, I say. Way cooler than a bowling party or a shindig at a little gymnasium.

“Hey Mom, guess what happened at Timmy’s party today?
“Did you meet nice kids? Get a cool goody bag?”
“No, but a crocodile almost chewed off my left leg!”

But alas, grownups spoil all the fun: A court ruled last week that kids could no longer be allowed to swim with the crocs and gators. Adults, though, still can.

Can you say “bachelor party in Germany?”

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article183714711.html

**Next up today, there was a pretty magical performance on Jimmy Fallon Monday night, one I just learned about Tuesday. Jimmy’s beloved Mom, Gloria, died on Nov. 4, and quite understandably he didn’t host “The Tonight Show” last week.
He came back on the air Monday, and got choked up talking about his Mom at the start of the show, and how she used to squeeze his hand three times as a kid and say “I love you.”

Well, unscheduled, Taylor Swift came on the show a little later and debuted a new song called “New Year’s Day,” and, well, there’s a line in there about squeezing your hand … just watch this, and then if you’re able, call your mother and tell her you love her.

Man. It got dusty in here watching that. What a beautiful moment at the end from Swift and Fallon. Just wonderful, emotional stuff.

**Finally today, I’ve really really tried to give the new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” the benefit of the doubt. It was gone for so long (six years), and I love it so much, that I wasn’t too worried when only one of the first three episodes was good. I figured that maybe it was like in sports, when teams or players take a little while to get going early in the season.

But no more excuses: “Curb” has had maybe 2.5 good episodes out of seven, and I’m supremely disappointed. There are funny moments here and there, and actually this week’s episode was one of the better ones (Larry and Leon talking about 92 degree rooms was fabulous). But man, every episode has, like 11 storylines going at once and none of them really connect.

There have been some episodes that make almost no sense (the prostitute that Larry befriends getting hooked up with Marty Funkhauser’s baseball-loving nephew?), and a lot of the jokes go on way, way too long even if they were at first, funny.

Makes me sad because I’m such a huge Larry David and “Curb” fan. But this season has just been … blah. Maybe the last few episodes will save it for me. In the meantime, a classic moment from the show’s past made me smile. (Definitely NSFW if you’re listening without headphones)

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Larry David and Julia-Louis Dreyfus reunite on SNL, and it’s great. Germany’s radically different prison system is worth copying. And the best of Steph Curry, all in one place

Tuesday is the New York presidential primary, and so of course everyone here in NYC (well, most people) are pretty focused on it.

Even though I’m a huge Bernie Sanders supporter, I’m pretty sure Hillary is going to win Tuesday, though I’m hoping it’s at least very close, like within a few points. The next week pretty much makes or breaks the Democratic race; if Bernie can pick off New Jersey, or New York, or Pa., we still have a race.

Otherwise, not sure we do. But hey, this has been an exciting last few weeks for political junkies like me; New York hasn’t had a competitive Democratic primary since I was in high school! (And oh yeah, there’s a GOP primary too, but Mr. Trump is so far ahead in the polls I’m not sure there’s much drama there.)

Anyway, as usual, “Saturday Night Live” was all over the primary, using the awesome Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ hosting last weekend as a chance to bring back Larry David as Bernie (By the way, am I the only one who remembers JLD on that briefly great show “Day by Day,” with D.B. Sweeney?).

The cold open of SNL featured Elaine Benes, and Rachel Greene, two real “new Yorkers.” I laughed pretty hard toward the end.

60minutes.Prisonstory

**Next up, I’m a few weeks behind on my “60 Minutes” viewing so this piece aired two weeks ago. But it kind of blew my mind: Reporter Bill Whitaker went on a tour of prisons in Germany, and to say they’re a bit different than here in the U.S. is the understatement of the year.

In Germany, prisons are radically less punishment-oriented, and way more rehabilitation oriented. Prisoners are allowed all kinds of family visits, they have keys to their own cells, and the relationship between guards and inmates is 180 degrees different than here in the U.S.

I’m not saying American prisons should be exactly like this, but wouldn’t it be nice, and refreshing, if we at least took some of their methods?

It’s really a fascinating look at how much better and more humane prisons could be.

 

**Finally today, the NBA playoffs started this weekend, and of course Golden State easily won its first game.

If you’re like me and still in awe of Steph Curry’s amazing performance this season, this highlight video of his 20 greatest plays this year will be enjoyable watching.
The New York Times also had a very cool graphic Sunday about Curry and how record-shattering his season has been; his 3-point shooting has been so far and away better than anyone ever, that percentage-wise, his year would be equivalent to someone in baseball hitting 103 home runs.

Incredible. This guy is such a joy to watch.

 

The Broncos win an excruciatingly boring Super Bowl, filled with lame commercials. And the Larry David/Bernie Sanders SNL was terrific

Broncos.von-miller

I’ve watched every Super Bowl since 1983. I’ve seen blowouts, I’ve seen nail-biters, I’ve seen incredible performances and goats that will live forever.

Not sure I’ve seen a Super Bowl that had fewer exciting plays than this one.

Wow. That was a boring, boring game. I went to an 8-1 NHL game Sunday afternoon and I think that was more entertaining. On the 50th anniversary of the first Super Bowl, there was just … not a whole lot of excitement.

Oh, the Denver defense played amazing, and MVP Von Miller was doing his Lawrence Taylor impersonation all night, and that strip-sack and defensive touchdown in the first quarter was kind of cool, but I just … kept waiting for something exciting to happen.

Ah well, you can’t always get a thriller. Some thoughts on the game, the halftime and the commercials..

— Peyton Manning has been one of my favorite NFL players ever since he entered the league. I’ve always rooted for him, admired his style and humility off the field, and loved how hard he competed. So I was thrilled to see him get carried to the finish line of an amazing career Sunday. He was not good most of the night, after the first drive I’m not sure he made more than 1-2 good throws. But so what? He carried plenty of his teams with terrible defenses over the years, he’s earned the right to get carried to a Super Bowl win.

— I truly think he retires now, and finishes with 2 Super Bowl wins. At the same time, you know Eli’s sitting there, with 2 SB wins of his own, thinking, “I gotta get me another ring.”

— I mean, look how excited Eli looked at the end of the game!

— Difference in the game? Cam Newton just had no time to throw all night. Broncos were in his face on practically drop-back, making him throw off-balance, off his back foot. I don’t know if the Panthers should’ve double-teamed Miller more, or thrown some short passes or screens to slow down the pass rush, or what. But nothing worked.

— Not to be “that guy,” but let’s not forget Von Miller was suspended for using steroids two years ago, and allegedly tampered with the urine sample that tested him positive.

— The commercials were thoroughly underwhelming, were they not? Nothing in the first half was particularly memorable, except for the fantastic Steve Harvey-T Mobile ad spoofing his famous screw-up at the Miss Universe Pageant recently.
But the Bud Light Party one was silly, I thought.

— I thought the domestic violence PSA at halftime was very strong. Second-half commercials were better; the Doritos dogs ad (above) was my favorite of the night, and the Helen Mirren drunk-driving ad was stellar:

— Halftime show was pretty solid, considering Coldplay was in it. Beyonce is just… an electric performer, someone I’d pay to see even though I don’t know her music that well.
Loved that shot of Bruno Mars and Bey walking together and singing with Chris Martin in the middle. I’ve never craved an Oreo so much in my life when that happened.

— Lady Gaga’s national anthem was, um, something. That red eye shadow was fierce.

— Disappointed we didn’t get to see Cam Newton score once and then try desperately to find a little kid who could afford tickets to the Super Bowl, to give the ball to.

— Finally, Donald Trump says America never wins anything anymore but a team from the U.S. just won the world championship of football, so what do you say to that, Donald????

**Next up today, in a perfectly timed episode, Larry David, the world’s foremost Bernie Sanders impersonator, hosted “Saturday Night Live” a few days before the New Hampshire primary Saturday night.

Bernie was in one sketch and it was funny, but to me the most hilarious piece of the night was David playing Bernie in a fantastic “Curb Your Enthusiasm”  spoof, starring some of the characters from “Curb” and David acting as Bernie.

If Bernie keeps doing well, Larry David’s going to get some serious mileage out of this impression.

 

The Mets and Jets are awesome, is it 1986 and 1969 all over again? Larry David as Bernie Sanders is fabulous. And 2 amazing college football plays I must share

Mets.Jets

Growing up on Long Island, I’d say 80 percent of kids are both Mets and Jets fans.
The fan bases are centered there, the teams both used to play/practice closer to us than the Yankees and Giants, and there has always been a tortured fan base vibe to both teams.

Luckily for me, I escaped one misery and became a Yankees fan. But still, the Jets have given me enough misery for a lifetime.

To be a Mets/Jets fan is to know the ending of the movie long before the credits, and to expect disappointment and take comfort in it; losing for Mets/Jets fans is a security blanket you can always count on.

Which is why I’m thinking about people like my friends David K. and Scott S. today, lifelong Jets/Mets fans, who’ve experienced more sports fan suffering than any human should.

But today, their world is upside down. Look: The New York Mets are two wins away from the World Series, with dominant starting pitching and a pretty-good infielder (Daniel Murphy) who’s suddenly the greatest hitter in the history of baseball.

And my New York Jets, with another impressive win Sunday to move to 4-1, suddenly with a shot to go to Foxboro next week and prove they’re a first-place team in the AFC East.

It’s nuts. It’s impossible. It NEVER happens.

Only twice in the history of these two terrible teams have they both been good in the same calendar year: 1969, when the Jets won the Super Bowl and the Mets won their first championship, and 1986, when the Jets ran out to a 10-1 start and the Mets won their last World Series (The Jets collapsed that season, but still, for a few months were the best team in football).

And now, it’s happening again. Do you know how much losing these fan bases have endured? How many injuries and bad luck and coaching ineptitude they’ve seen (we’re looking at you, Rich Kotite and Jeff Torborg)?

And now, at least temporarily, there’s joy.

Up is down. Black is white. Pat Buchanan’s a liberal Democrat and Jesse Jackson has joined the Tea Party.

It’s a mad, mad world. And I know lots of people are enjoying the hell out of it.

**Next up today, I love Larry David like most Americans do, and I love me some Bernie Sanders, as you all know. So when I discovered on Sunday that America’s comedian curmudgeon had surprisingly played America’s political curmudgeon on “Saturday Night Live,” well, there was no way this wasn’t going on the blog today.

That it happened to be really funny was a bonus; Kate MacKinnon’s Hillary has really gotten almost as good as Amy Poehler’s was, and David’s rant about emails, and the pens at the bank, had me laughing out loud.

**Finally, I don’t talk much about college football on here because, quite frankly, I don’t follow it or care for it that much. College football is by far the most corrupt college sport (I know, my beloved college basketball can be a cesspool sometimes too, but it’s not in the same cheating league as football), and it’s never meant too much to me.

But two plays in the past few days blew me away, first for its athleticism and the second one for its shock value.

The first one (video above) was a type of catch I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Stanford’s Francis Owusu on Thursday night made this incredible catch against UCLA, trapping the ball against the defender’s back to score a touchdown. The close-up replay starts at :35… I watched it five times and I still can’t believe he caught it that way.

The second one got way more attention, because it was on Saturday, and it was the final play of the Michigan-Michigan State game. If you haven’t seen it, it has to be seen to be believed. Michigan was up 23-21, with 10 seconds left, and was about to pull off a big upset in this huge rivalry.

All the Wolverines had to do was have punter Blake O’Neill punt the ball, anywhere and for any distance, and they’d win. But O’Neill dropped the snap, and well, this happened… I’ve never seen a game end like this. Absolutely soul-crushing for 100,000 UM fans in Ann Arbor.

Just wow.

The lede from the great Mitch Albom’s column in the Detroit Free Press Sunday:

Rub your eyes. Shake your head. Rub your eyes again. You will never see a play like that again and you will never see an end like that again and there may never be a game in this storied Michigan-Michigan State rivalry like that again, not one that ends more strangely or turns more fortunes than the final seconds of this chilled Saturday evening.

 

Larry David’s “Fish in the Dark” is funny, but pretty much a “Curb” episode. A wrenching tale from an Amtrak train survivor. And Southwest Airlines does really wrong by a passenger

FISH IN THE DARK - 2015 PRESS ART - Larry David and Ben Shenkman - Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

FISH IN THE DARK – 2015 PRESS ART – Larry David and Ben Shenkman – Photo Credit: Joan Marcus 

So as a fellow Jewish New Yorker myself, it’s not really a big surprise that I’m a huge Larry David fan.

Loved “Seinfeld,” and loved “Curb Your Enthusiasm” even more. So four months ago, when tickets went on sale for David’s new Broadway show, “Fish In the Dark,” I snapped up a few for myself, my Dad and my stepmom (my wife is one of the very few people I know who doesn’t like “Seinfeld.” Oddly enough, my ex-wife disliked it, too. Do I somehow attract anti-Costanzas? A question for another day.)

Because it was such a hot ticket here in N.Y., I didn’t get to actually see the show until Saturday. And it was terrific, no doubt about it. Really funny, with a few “I missed the next line because I was laughing so hard at the last one” moments.

But honestly? It felt like a two-hour episode of “Curb,” with lots of the same Larry ticks and verbal miscues we’ve come to know and love.

The plot of “Fish in the Dark” is this: The dysfunction of the Drexel family is on full display after the patriarch, played by Jerry Adler, dies in an early scene. David’s character, Norman, has a loving but frustrated wife (Rita Wilson), an arrogant lawyer brother (Ben Shenkman, who was terrific), a housekeeper with a family secret she finally spills (Rosie Perez, also great), and a host of other aunts, uncles and relatives.

It’s really well-written, Shenkman and the supporting cast were all great, and I enjoyed myself. But I couldn’t help thinking me and the rest of the audience got tricked into spending over a hundred bucks to see a two-hour “Curb” movie.

seywarddarby.amtrak

**Next up today, an extraordinary piece of writing from a woman named Seyward  Darby, who was a passenger on Amtrak train 188 that crashed and killed eight people last week near Philadelphia.

Darby writes in this Washington Post piece about her lifelong debilitating worry that those she loves are about to die, and how having a near-death experience herself made her see her worries in a whole new light.

Really, this is a sensational, wrenching piece that deserves to be read. Truly great work.

southwestairlines

**Finally today, I have long been a big fan of Southwest Airlines. For the 5-plus years I lived in Daytona Beach, I was on the Orlando-Long Island flight at least 6-7 times per year, and always found Southwest to be on time, with friendly (and often really funny) pilots and flight attendants, and reasonably priced. I recommended Southwest to all.

But after the story I just read about this weekend, man, I don’t know if I can feel good about this company anymore. Did you hear about this?

A Wisconsin woman named Karen Momsen-Evers was onboard a flight about to take off from New Orleans back to Milwaukee on April 3 when she got a text from her husband:

“Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself…,” Andy Evers’ text read.

Naturally panicked, she immediately tried to call Andy and had her phone slapped out of her hand by a flight attendant, who told her to put the phone away.
When Karen explained what was going on, the flight attendant cited FAA regulations, even as Karen told her the whole story. She said she then begged the flight attendant to have the pilor or someone in the cockpit radio the authorities in Milwaukee, to do something to help Andy Evers.

Even after the flight reached cruising altitude, Evers was prevented from making a call, and a different flight attendant said she couldn’t disturb the pilot with this information.

When Karen landed, she called the police, who then found Andy Evers dead at the family home.

I mean … come ON! The woman gets a text from her husband threatening suicide, and the Southwest personnel can’t even do one thing to help this poor woman?
Just deplorable. Southwest’s statement in response to this is as tone-deaf as it gets: “our hearts go out to the Evers family during this difficult time. Flight attendants are trained to notify the Captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers onboard. In this situation, the pilots were not notified.”

Just awful. There ought to be some serious discipline handed out to those flight attendants, and as this story gets more and more traction in the media, Southwest should rightfully get more and more scrutiny.

 

A Happy Thanksgiving to all. The guy who was arrested twice at the exact same time. And Larry David’s family Thanksgiving

Today is my favorite day of the year, just about every year.
I love everything about Thanksgiving: the great food, the good football, the family and friends all being together, no matter what the religion. And of course, one of the funniest movies of all time, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” being on TV somewhere (Seriously, if you don’t like PTA, I don’t think we can be friends. Every scene in that movie is perfect, including the one above).
Most of all, I love that it reminds us to count our blessings, and be grateful for all that we have.
I know that’ s hard for a lot of people in my neck of the woods this year, in New York, where Hurricane Sandy devastated so many lives.
Still, I hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for this year. For me, this Thanksgiving will be a first, location-wise, as I’m at my wonderful soon-to-be-in laws for my first Turkey Day. As I write this, the aromas coming from the kitchen Wednesday night are enough to tempt any human, but alas, I must wait until tomorrow.

When it will be Thanksgiving.  Wishing all of you a wonderful day, and wishing the Jets a win over the Patriots (yeah, like that will happen. But a man can dream.)

**Been meaning to post about this story for a week and I keep forgetting. I’d say it’s probably never happened before.
So on Nov. 5, the night we all turned our clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time, 22-year-old Ohio man Niles Gammons was arrested for driving under the influence. Gammon was going the wrong way up a one-way alley and was stopped at 1:08 a.m., and when he failed the Breathalyzer test, he was arrested and brought to the police station.
The officer gave him a citation, suspended his drivers license, and then released him into the custody of another adult.

Exactly one hour after the first stop, when the clocks had turned back and it was again 1:08 a.m., Gammons got behind the wheel again and nearly rammed into a police cruiser. He was again cited for a DUI and his arrest time read 1:08 a.m.

I mean, what are the odds? DUI is a serious charge and I’m not at all trying to make light of it, but seriously, what are the odds of being arrested twice at the exact same time?

That’s some cosmic time-machine stuff right there.

**Speaking of Thanksgiving, let’s leave it to one of the funniest TV people alive, Larry David, to tell us what it was like at his house on Turkey Day growing up.

R.I.P. Sally Ride, a true American pioneer. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, just hanging out, hilariously. And a big day for the Rangers: Rick Nash is coming to NYC

The thing that surprised me most when I read that the first American woman in space, Sally Ride had died Monday night? Her age.
For a person who accomplished as much as Ride did, and to be only 61 when she passed away due to cancer, was eye-opening.
This was a woman who was a true pioneer, becoming the first woman accepted at NASA as an astronaut in 1978, and who then flew two missions.

As discriminatory barrier after barrier falls away as society becomes more enlightened and less beholden to the past, you sometimes forget how big a deal it was when certain blockades fell. In the middle of the feminism wave of the 1970s, Ride literally proved women could go anywhere men could go, all the way to outer space.

She was a wonderful role model for girls who loved science, and a terrific representative for all who had the imagination to go where few had gone before.

Hers was a life cut short too soon, and she will be missed. But as long as the tales of traveling in orbit are told, Sally Ride will be remembered.

**Jerry Seinfeld, whose post-“Seinfeld” career hasn’t been all that, you know, funny, may finally have something worth watching again. He’s got a new Web-only show on Crackle.com called “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Which is exactly what it is.

For episode one he had his old partner Larry David on, and it was fantastic. These two are just so clearly, perfectly in tune, that it’s like watching jazz, seeing them riff off each other. A definite good use of 13 minutes of your time; watch the clip above (and enjoy the real spit-take around the 8-minute mark).

**Finally, on a day when the New York Yankees acquired the great outfielder Ichiro (who may or may not be washed up, we’ll see), I was much more excited by another trade one of my favorite teams made Monday.
After months of negotiating, and trade talks stalling, the deal was finally cinched: Star goal-scorer Rick Nash is coming to the Rangers. My Blueshirts had to give up a few good players, but nobody anywhere close the quality of Nash, who scored 30 goals every year on a terrible team in Columbus. Imagine what he’ll do playing with Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards every night!

This trade makes the Rangers a lot better. If there’s a hockey season this fall (and that’s a big if, with an owners’ lockout looming), I’m very pumped for the Rangers’ chances.
Rick Nash, welcome to Broadway. Now don’t screw up.
 

The 61-year-old lifeguard fired for NOT wearing a Speedo. A remarkable display of multi-tasking. AndA super-cool subway video from 1905.

**I love this story so much. Roy Lester, a 61-year-old Long Island man, has been a lifeguard at Jones Beach for three decades. He was fired recently because, he says, he refused to wear the required Speedo suit for his yearly swim test.
“Come on,” he said. “There should be a law prohibiting anyone over the age of 50 from wearing a Speedo.”
Could NOT agree more, Roy. Could not agree more. (that’s not him, above, that’s Giorgio Armani. Still looks pretty good for an old guy.)
We’ve all been at the beach and seen older men, men well beyond Speedo-wearing years, showing off almost their whole body with only that tiny piece of fabric covering their private parts.

Nobody wants to see that. Nobody. (There was once a very funny “Curb” episode where Larry David stopped seeing his therapist because he saw the Dr. at the beach in a Speedo. Speaking of “Curb,” the episode Sunday night featuring Bill Buckner? Brilliant. It’s been such a great “Curb” season. But I digress).

Anyway, Roy is suing Nassau County for age discrimination, and two weeks ago an appeals court ruled his lawsuit can go forward.

If Roy needs any money for his legal defense, I will gladly pony up a few bucks.

**This one may only be impressive/interesting to men who can relate.
So in the men’s room at the U.S. Open Monday I saw a remarkable, impressive and yet somewhat disturbing scene.
Standing at the urinal next to me was a guy who was texting on this phone with both hands.
While peeing.
At first I only noticed him out of the corner of my eye, because men don’t usually look at each other during such activities. But once I saw what he was doing, I admit, I looked at him (above the waist) for a few seconds.
I was at once horrified and impressed. Like, dude, you can’t wait 10 seconds to text that person? But also, I was like, “That’s impressive multi-tasking.”

That’s all. Just thought I’d share.

**Finally, I leave you with something very cool. This is a video from a 1905 subway ride in New York City. There’s no sound, and of course it’s grainy, but I just found it fascinating and oddly soothing. Enjoy.

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” batting .500 so far. The lunatic Rick Perry looks all-in. And the man who really, really suffered to win a contest

After last week’s season premiere of the once-brilliant, now barely-hanging on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” I thought Larry David’s show was finally ready for the grave.
Truly, the show hasn’t been as funny the last 3 seasons as it was in its first four, but still, like an addict, I keep going back.
But last week’s premiere, I thought, was quite unfunny, though my friends who are fellow “Curb” watchers disagreed (as did most critics. I don’t know, maybe my standards for the show are too high.)
Happily, Sunday night’s episode was terrific. Really liked the Richard Lewis storyline (though he does look like death warmed over, doesn’t he?), there were some great Marty Funkhouser lines, and it was just a really funny episode.

If the whole season is one good show, one bad one, I can live with that.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**Well, it’s starting to look more and more like that old secessionist Rick Perry, the batshit-crazy governor of Texas, is going to run for President. He’s now saying God is telling him it’s what he should do, which is always a good reason to run.

This man is scary dangerous, folks, and not just because he’s a tough-talking governor from Texas (we saw how that worked out last time).
Above is just a small example of how scary Perry is; it’s a video compilation Rachel Maddow aired the other night, showing the people who support Perry’s “prayer day” in Texas, which is upcoming on August 6. Needless to say, these people scare the hell out of me.
And Perry wants more just like ’em. He’s going to be a formidable Presidential candidate … up until America (the non-Tea Party wing) actually starts listening to him.

**I don’t know exactly what the prize was in this contest, but these guys have to be a little nuts.
Two Chinese beekeepers competed against each other last week in China in what was called a “bee-bearding” contest.
They wore only shorts, goggles and plugs up their nose (of course), and Lv Kongjiang won by wearing 59 pounds worth of bees on his body.

Good lord some people will do anything to win. Is there enough AfterBite in the world to heal this guy?
And there’s not enough money in the world to pay my mother, whose bee-phobia is legendary in our family, to compete in one of these contests.

Ah, the Jets, making all of New England feel better. More NFL thoughts, and the finale of “Curb”

Voicemail message from my father, approximately 5 p.m., as New England took a 21-0 lead:

“Why don’t you leave the bar, go home, talk to your wife, have a nice dinner, anything else but watching this.”

The man is a fountain of wisdom. I was sitting at Houligan’s, having just finished off a nice pulled pork sandwich (Mmm, pulled pork), and I was watching the Patriots systematically take apart the New York Jets.

The Pats ran on the Jets. They threw on the Jets. They stuffed everything the Jets tried to do on offense. They completely befuddled and confused Mark Sanchez (more on him in a minute).

So, I left. It’s not the first time I left a Jets game, and it won’t be the last.

Course, I get home, and I check the score, and it’s 24-14, so I start watching again, and of course they never got any closer and lost, 31-14.

Very few positives to talk about in this game, so let’s deal with the negatives, shall we?

— This defense is not only not good, not only can’t they tackle well, but they can’t cover a bedspread right now. What happened to Kerry Rhodes? Guy used to be great. Bart Scott, anytime you want to earn that contract, go right ahead. The pass rush was OK, but never there when it was needed.

— How does the Jets coaching staff come out SO woefully unprepared for the first half? They got outgained 273-34. That’s insane.

— I know Mark Sanchez is a rookie. And I do have faith that he’ll be a good quarterback one day. But man oh man, the kid keeps making the SAME mistakes over and over. Trying to throw into triple coverage. Throwing off the wrong foot. I just get worried that he doesn’t seem to be making any progress here. But I don’t want to bench him. Look, Peyton Manning was awful as a rookie, too.

— Four and six wouldn’t feel so bad if they hadn’t started 3 and 0.

Some more Monday NFL thoughts:

— I know this will never happen, but let a sports fan dream for a minute: Indianapolis is 10-0. New Orleans is 10-0. Wouldn’t it be incredible if they met in the Super Bowl, after BOTH having gone 16-0? I think the Internet might explode if that happened.

— Two more reasons I never, ever wager on NFL games individually: Kansas City 27, Pittsburgh 24.  Oakland 20, Cincinnati 17.

— I think Jack Kent Cooke and Tom Landry were spinning wildly in their graves Sunday, as the Cowboys and Redskins combined to play one awful football game. I knew it was bad when the Cowboys fan sitting near me whooped at one point, really loudly. What happened, I asked.  Skins missed a field goal!, he exclaimed.

–Who’s that guy in the picture above, you ask? Daytona Beach’s own Eric Weems, now an Atlanta Falcon. He caught at TD pass Sunday against the Giants. He’s a great kid; I’ve interviewed him a few times and he just never put on the attitude some guys have. He’s a great story; 5-foot-9, undrafted out of Bethune-Cookman University, makes the Atlanta practice squad for a few years, and now finally is getting his shot. Good stuff.

Finally, the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” season finale aired Sunday night. It was pretty funny, especially the stuff when Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were just riffing off each other. I also loved that they finally addressed the whole “George Costanza really is just Larry David” thing; that was always out there but never talked about.

Last week’s episode was still this season’s masterpiece, the equivalent of “Crazy Eyez Killah” and “The Producers” episodes from years past.

Anyway, good to see Cheryl back, and the still-pretty Elisabeth Shue, too.

For you “Curb” fans, here’s a little best of video I found on YouTube.