Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dude looks like a Yeti...

Speaking of milk, on a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I happened to be in line for the new Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney's Animal Kingdom when a group of about four people slipped out of a door near the end of the ride queue and who cut in front of me in line but none other than Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.

Naturally, despite his hooded sweatshirt, word quickly spread through the crowd and out came the camera phones. The kids in my party were excited that they got to ride the ride with the guy who "stars" in another Disney ride, the Rock N Roller Coaster over at MGM/Disney Studios. He and his female companion got to ride in the front car, and they had a blast, screaming and laughing like, well, kids, which is exactly what you SHOULD be doing at Walt Disney World. ST looked very pretty, and appeared to be wearing more makeup than his lady friend. Although it might be that he's just had some really good plastic surgery, I don't know...

What was really interesting was the behavior of the other people in and around the ride. Everybody played it pretty cool, a few shouted out I LOVE YOU STEVEN and the like, but it was mostly quiet whispers and the snapping of a hundred camera phones. After we got off the ride, Stevie poked around the gift shop, trying on Yeti head masks and ski caps (The mythical beast plays a big part in the ride, a pretty cool backward and forward trek through the Himalayas).

Once outside, though, all hell broke loose. For whatever reason, about two hundred and fifty people decided they just wanted to follow the rockstar through the park. Of course word had spread outside the gift shop before we all exited, so there was a crowd in front of AND behind the There was a huge logjam when Mr. Tyler and party stopped for a hotdog, and to pose for some pictures with some wheelchair-b0und park visitors, but the whole time, the throng was eerily silent. Just pressing closer and closer, and staring. Finally, on the fringe, there was an opening and we were able to break free.

Maybe screaming, chanting hordes of fans are reserved for the younger rockstars. But at least a few hundred people can now tell their families at the holiday table about their brush (literally) with rock royalty.

Seriously, though...dude DOES look like a lady. But it works for him.

It does a body good...

If you know me, you know that I drink the Soy Lattes. If you don't know me, now you know that I drink the Soy Lattes. I also use the Soy Milk by itself, or in cereal, or the occasional Brandy Alexander. I don't completely ignore Cow's milk, or goat's milk. Or water buffalo milk, like Fidel Castro, for that matter. But I prefer the Soy.

And, unlike SOME Soy Latte drinkers, I've been guzzling the stuff for about 20 years, long before Madonna rapped about it in AMERICAN LIFE. Back in my athletic, younger days, I read some magazine article about soy proteins and figured what the hell, give it a shot. And I liked the taste. Back then, you had to trek to health food stores to find it. Now you can pick it up in many gas stations.

Anyway, I had this article emailed to me by two people today.
Soy milk is supposedly unhealthy
So, I sent back this article about
Delicious, healthy whole milk.

Come on, people. We all know that dairy is hard for us to digest. Problem is, it tastes good.
And we all sort of know, but don't really want to acknowledge, the fact that there's gross, disgusting things in and about most of what we eat and drink. But you gotta eat to stay alive.
And the human race has existed just fine for a while now drinking milk, cow, soy, goat, breast, whatever.

So all these studies, these medical journal articles, these lab tests...keep them to yourself. Please.

And pass the soy.


Duh Bears

Since Rex Grossman apparently won't be sabotaging the Bears' Super Bowl dreams this season, defensive tackle Tank Johnson decided to make himself the latest distraction.
S.W.A.T team, flash pod, search warrant, guns, drugs, lawyers... there's more intruigue than a Carl Hiassen novel here.

Could someone please explain why athletes continue to try to live like rappers? Tank's 2005 salary was roughly $406K. I don't think he'd make that gangbanging, or dealing, or whatever the hell he thinks he's doing holed up in a luxury home in Gurnee with a mini armada and a few ounces of grass....Why isn't being a highly paid NFL star ENOUGH for some of these guys?
They all want to be Tupac or Snoop.

I'll bet the problem is rooted in some insecurity over the fact that,because of the plethora of Johnsons on the Bears, he has to have his whole name on the back of his jersey. That is just NOT cool, no matter how you slice it.

Then again, I'm sure none of the contraband was his. Probably belonged to some wayward friend, staying with him, kinda like Vince's Jersey buddy that ripped off the Shrek doll on last season's ENTOURAGE.

At least we know he'll look studly in the jumpsuit, should he wind up in an Illinois correctional facility. Orange is already one of his colors.

Stay classy, Tank. Proud. Enjoy your evening in the tank.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I love this game (but I love myself more)

Allen Iverson, "The Answer".
The question, Why do I have such a hard time giving a crap about the NBA?

Living the Heming Way.

I got to Key West WAY too late.

That's the sense you get walking around this island paradise, past the rows of schlocky t-shirt shops and musty barrooms and all the open-air cafes that are just a touch too pretty, too plastic. It must've been a hell of a spot back in the day. Back when it was an island of rumrunners and boozy artists and the characters we wound up reading about, it must've been amazing. It's a place that, like New Orleans, you can FEEL the history during an early morning stroll. It's easy to see why it became such a font of inspiration for so many. Natural beauty, and great weather. If you're suffering for the sake of your art, at least suffer internally, in a gorgeous setting.

Naturally, there's the tourist joints named after Ernie Hemingway, the shops and cafes that try to entice the families from Pittsburgh and Iowa to plunk down a few bucks to Have or Have Not a cheeseburger, or latte, or bumper sticker in the name and spirt of ol' Papa.

But if you choke down the nausea induced by the tackiness and venture through the gate of the Hemingway home and museum, you can live it a little bit. You can picture Ernest rambling around the house, padding out to his office on a rope ladder in the early morning hours to bang away on his typewriter. Having visted former homes of Ernest AND Mark Twain in the last year, I've often wondered who will make our generations' cut, whose homes will become shrines in future years? Who are the indelible characters, the men's men? Part of the appeal of the Hemingways and Twains was their manliness, to the point of political incorrectness. The rugged spirit of the wanderer, the adventurer in all of us that is still drawn to hear tales of the authors' past travels and travails. Will people flock to see Michael Crighton's study, or James Patterson's desk? Will anyone care to see how Eggers or Franzen lived? Stephen King, probably.

I lagged back from the tour group in Hemingway's "Writing Room", looking for something. Just to feel it, to try to get a sense...I think a lot of people that visit places like that do the same thing. We want to see how the great ones lived, see what they experienced that brought out the expression that we so admire. But the truth is, often times it's already inside them. Sure, the setting can often help a little, but the prose, or poems, or lyrics, or vision...that's organic.
You can't plunk down eight bucks and get there. And that's the beauty of it, I suppose.

As I was getting ready to head downstairs, and out to the lush landscaped grounds of the home, the next tour group was trickling up the stairs and into the room. The first couple in line were taking it all in. The smallish table used as a desk in the center of the room, the very spot he sat. The Old Man and the Sea. To Have and Have Not. Birthed right here, in this very room.
"If only these walls could talk..." said the man to his wife.

They already have.

Oh yeah? Well, YOU named your daughter after a fruit!

I was all set to fire up Gwenyth for shooting her mouth off last weekend. Every American who moves to England winds up getting caught up in the loathing of our soulless, culturally vapid populace. It gets a little irritating.

But, then I realized something.

She's not wrong.

So THEN I got a little irritated when she tried to backpedal last Monday, using the tired old
misquoted, lost in translation blah blah blah.

If you're going to have an opinion, at least have the chutzpah to stick with it.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

So you blink, and just like that, it's the holidays.

Somewhere between snow crunching, and kids bunching, between the holly and the mistletoe,
between the anxieties and crowds of people and the repeated attempts to quell the seasonal affective disorder, we breathe deep and actually start to enjoy the "most wonderful time of the

So here's to all of you, and yours. Wishing you the merriest of merries, the eggiest of nogs, the jingliest of bells, and all that other mutha jazz, as Frank used to say.

I've been going to bed way too early the last few months. The bleak, harsh winter is bringing back the insomnia. So perhaps the posts will pick up again...

We'll (I mean, I'll) try to avoid the usual YEAR IN REVIEW wrapup posts. But, then again,
it's the season of cliche┬┤

Jingle Bells to one and all.