“This is Genesis. She likes her men completely hairless…and, no, she doesn’t think that’s weird.” Genesis: “I don’t.” Hey, Genesis: you’re a freaky freak girl. And I dig that! Question: Does “completely hairless” include bald? Like, would Genesis prefer Varys from “Game of Thrones?”  Or is she already mackin’ on Charlie Villenueva?

Varys: No hair… and a lot, lot less.

 Starting Five

1. Love, Actuary

As you have probably seen by now, the Wall Street Journal released a ranking of 200 jobs, Best to Worst, and actuary, a person who uses mathematical skills to perform risk analysis, finished first (personally, I consider “Being The Rock” the best job, and Steve the best Jobs, but what do I know? ). Also, “newspaper reporter”  finished 200th, or last. That must have done wonders for the WSJ staffers who helped put it together. As a person currently holding down the 185th-best job, I’m calling b.s. on this list. Why? Because “dishwasher” finished 187th, or 13 spots above reporter, and trust me, there is no worse job –particularly in a busy restaurant –than dishwasher. None. And podiatrist finished 23rd? Do you want to live in a country where more than 85% of the people have worse jobs than being a podiatrist? I don’t.

This is Mr. February from the “Sexiest Actuaries” calendar.

2. Meet Seventh Woods. Yesterday, Matt Norlander of (Matt is a “Senior Blogger!” Geez, CBS, can you give this diligent reporter a real title?) introduced us to him and made the obligatory George Costanza reference regarding his given name. Woods is only 14 years old and six-foot-one but he must be on anti-gravity pills. His entire game reminds us of this classic Cheech & Chong tune. Woods’ MJ-ness is alluring, but I counted at least seven palming violations in the first 63 seconds of the video before I grew queasy. I then went outside and practiced my underhanded Rick Barry-style free throws.

“Basketball Jones/I got a Basketball Jones/I got a Basketball Jones/Oh baby, ooh-ooh-ooh!”


3. NBA Playoffs Opening Round: Miami, New York, Indiana, Chicago in the East. OKC, San Antonio, LAC and Denver out west. At worst I’ll be wrong on one of them (Brooklyn?). We can pretend to be intrigued, but I’m honestly more interested in the mini-Olympics that will transpire between Shaq and Sir Charles. Can we just proceed to the second round and pronto?

This is Genesis: “I could hair less about the first round of the NBA playoffs.”


4. “I’ll take ‘Famous A.J. Profanities for $200, Alex”

“This young man reacted to the news that his grandmother would be a no-show at the family barbecue with, “So, what? No (bleepin’) ziti now?”

–Who is A.J. Soprano? Correct!

“A.J.’s for $300.”

“This bastion of blogging sent a resignation letter to his staff in January that read, in part, ‘As for 2014, who the (bleep) knows?'”

–Who is A.J. Daulerio? Correct!

“A.J.’s for $400.”

“This neophyte newscaster opened his very first newscast on KFYR in Bismarck, N.D., earlier this week by uttering, “(Bleepin’ Bleep).”

–Who is A.J. Clemente? Correct!

My favorite part of the A.J. Clemente clip is not the profanity, but instead his meathead self-introduction that follows: “Thanks, Van. I graduated from West Virginia University and I’m used to, um, you know, from being in the East Coast.” That right there was grounds for termination. If you did not know, Clemente was fired from KFYR, located in the nation’s 151st-largest TV market, and handled his pink-slipping with grace.

Stay classy, Bismarck.

“Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent,” Clemente tweeted. “Can’t help but laugh at myself and stay positive. Wish I didn’t trip over my ‘Freaking Shoes’ out of the gate.”


5. House of Ca$h

Netflix (NFLX) was up 25% in after-hours trading yesterday afternoon, from $174 to $223, after it announced its first-quarter earnings. This is a tremendous comeback tale. Two years ago NFLX was approaching the $300 mark when it announced that it was splitting it subscription service, in terms of how customers would pay, in two. The move was universally criticized and NFLX stock plummeted. Flash forward to last summer (August 3, to be exact) when the stock price was down to $52.

But then NFLX copied the HBO model and introduced original programming. “House of Cards“, a political drama starring Verbil Kint and Princess Buttercup, premiered on February 1 and has drawn rave reviews. Coming up next: a new season of “Arrested Development.” (No touching! And no sharing of your Netflix password!).

One degree of Kevin Spacey

Now Netflix has 29.2 million subscribers, or more than HBO does (28.7 million), and the stock price is up more than 400% from where it was nine months ago (it’s the most successful company in terms of stock price on the S&P 500 this year thus far). If you are an investment neophyte, that’s once-in-a-lifetime type profit (Personally, I think at least 25% of Netflix’s success has to do with people thinking its ticker symbol of NFLX means that it is the National Football League).

The good news if you missed out on NFLX? Apple (AAPL) is announcing earnings after the bell today. The stock is hovering at $400 after being as high as $705 last September. Are you ready to take a chance on AAPL making an NFLX-ian rebound?


Someone on Twitter asked yesterday how come there were no good photos from police cruisers of the shootout in Watertown in the first hour of last Friday morning? I don’t have an answer for that, but Andy Kitzenberg shot some historic photos from his apartment window and has posted them on his site, You have to click on that link. As faithful reader @Okerland points out, some of the most invaluable reporting from both the Bin Laden raid and this disaster was done by men sitting at home, minding their own business, who just happened to find themselves within 100 yards of history.

The shooters (allegedly). I don’t believe anything any more unless I hear it from Pete Williams. photo by Andy Kitzenberg

Hustle. That’s what The New York Times did in being the first to bring us this story. I’ll use the “H” word again: historic.

It’s funny how much NBC’s Pete Williams’ star has risen in the past week. Williams has the look of someone who was too square to even be cast in Network, or should be the news director at a station that might hire –and fire–the likes of A.J. Clemente. And yet all week long his reports have been the most credible. And last Wednesday, when everyone else was informing us that there had been an arrest in the Boston bombing case, he held fast and said, “No no no.” Kudos to Williams. If he didn’t look like someone you’d run into at the Cedar Rapids Elks Club meeting, someone at NBC would be making bigger plans for him. As it is, Williams has a good gig. And he knows it. People trust him. That’s worth something.

In Pete We Trust




Final thoughts (for today) on the Boston bombing case, with a heavy assist by reader Susie B. (whom I’ve never met and have no idea who she is), who made some salient points in a recent comment:

1) From the very beginning I assumed that the bombers were A) local and B) college students and/or college-aged students. Turns out I was correct about that. If you look at the mass murders in April from Columbine to OKC to Blacksburg, etc., your suspect is a male between the ages of 15 and 25.

2) As Susie B. points out, it is remarkable, if these suspects are the correct ones, that the brothers went through all the trouble of manufacturing these bombs and yet had no getaway strategy. That they were car-jacking an SUV and forcing the driver to withdraw money from an ATM at gunpoint less than seven miles from where the bombing occurred, and a full three days after the incident, illustrates that their plan was crude at best. What authorities should be concerned about is that some future nihilist will not be so short-sighted. How difficult is it to already map out an escape route and have funds on hand with which to do it? Movie villains really are more savvy than almost all real-life ones.

3) How is it –again, credit to Susie B.– that a pair of locals were identified on camera on a Thursday afternoon and nobody phoned the authorities to identify them? No one? That’s correct, no? How does that happen?

4) Sunil Tripathi: Still missing.

5) And finally… a Watertown resident spends an entire Friday in lockdown, and he knows why. When the lockdown is lifted, he steps outside for a smoke (putting his life at risk in two ways simultaneously). He notices that the tarp on his boat parked in the driveway is torn and also notices blood. And his first thought is, I’ll go check this out, unarmed, myself. Really??? Really??? That’s about 17 degrees of stupid. He is lucky to be alive today. Also, notice that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev chose the same hiding spot as Gianni Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan: an unoccupied boat.

Mad Men

Upon further review, is not the theme that Don Draper is suddenly finding the women in his life turning the tables on him? He meets his paramour-or-less in the elevator, dressed up and clearly headed out –alone– and she fails to tell him the particulars (she’s got to be headed to the same club where Joan and her friend wound up, no?). He happens across Peggy ambushing his Heinz campaign. And there’s Zou Bisou Bisou, the Lovely and Faithful Megan, kissing the leading man in her soap opera. So what if was in the script? And so what if Ted McGinley wrote the scene?

Turnabout is not fair play. Not for Don Draper it isn’t.

Don’t worry, baby: the drinks are on the louse.

So, now what? Would it be so inconceivable that Don turns to the one woman who has yet to double-cross him? Who as we saw in this episode is a little lonely herself? And who has resolved to leave behind the menial tasks at SCDP and become a true partner herself? And if you’re a partner, who better to partner with than a fellow partner?

Also, stay tuned: Historically, we’re approaching the most turbulent moment of the decade outside of the JFK assassination in 1963. Within a two-month span both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy will be assassinated. I expect those events to influence either next week’s episode or the next two episodes. There’s a lot of meat on the bone for show runner Matthew Weiner.

Remote Patrol

Game 2: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

TNT 8 p.m.

Yes, I’ve already said that I don’t care too much about the opening round. And these two teams are so veteran-laden that there will be uncalled fouls on every possession. First team to 85 wins. Ugly hoops, in other words. The redeeming quality is that Carmelo Anthony appears to want the mantle of NBA’s Best Player. Yeah, you heard me. Everyone knows who LeBron is, but Carmelo has similar size and –dare I say –superior scoring ability. All LeBron is is a better athlete. Watch Carmelo. This is HIS time.

There is a “me” in Carmelo, but no one seems to care as long as the Knicks win.





4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING! 4/23

    “Move your ass, Angela!” Name the actress who uttered these words to Angela on ‘My So-Called Life’. Confession – I don’t really remember if this character said these exact words, but she was Angela’s wild & somewhat slutty best friend so the odds are good.

    The more I read about the Boston Bomber Brothers, the more I think either the stress prompted a return to heavy pot smoking or they are/were 2 of the dumbest &/or unluckiest criminals since Ray Luca & Pauli (‘Crime Story’) made a ‘getaway’ thru Nevada’s LIVE nuclear testing site. Not only were the brothers still in the vicinity of the 1st nationally televised crime & still together, but on their apparent way outta town AFTER their mugs have been all over worldwide TV for hours, they stop at a 7-11 for…SNACKS(? & hence the pot theory) which had JUST been robbed by another unrelated perp (one more thing that was reported incorrectly 1st by cops & then the media) & thus, cops were called who would see the security footage. What are the odds of that?!

    Sometime later they carjack an SUV & TELL the victim they are the bombers & then stop at a gas station where the brothers LEAVE the guy (untied) in the car while they go in. Carjack victim escapes. Duh. He calls the cops. Duh. Law enforcement now have the make/model & licence plate of one of their getaway cars. WHY would they/he get back in that car?! Why were they in 2 cars?

    At least baby bro’s luck seemed to change when he was able to drive THRU the cop cars after the gunfight (looking at Kitzenberg’s photos, “street fight” has a whole new meaning) & escapes/hides for hours from thousands of law enforcement & crazed media.

    And yes, you are so right – that homeowner was stupid & lucky. And just like a too-dumb character in a scary movie (how many times have you screamed at the screen “Don’t go down there! The maniac with the knive/gun/chainsaw is just waiting for you!”), he GOES there!

    You could have titled today’s entire post MAD MEN.

    I’m just a long-time reader (since 2007 on your blog). I live in MD – in fact, about 5 miles from Uncle Ruslan. Which I found out Friday morning from local radio on the drive to work & before his now infamous “they are LOSERS!” rant. That Uncle Ruslan seems the sanest one of the bunch means that family could have been huge reality-TV stars.

  2. Ooh, one more thing. Yes, Melo looks not just slimmer than last year but is outplaying his old self & most other players in the league this year. BUT, compared to the magnificent/Super Heroish physique of ‘LeBraaaaaawwwwnnnn’ (intentional misspelling), he looks like a, er, MARSH…melo. Then again, who doesn’t?

  3. Here’s the thing: Lumberjacks probably make more than reporters on average. As a Floridian, I’m not in a good position to trade.

    Having said that, if I wanted to give my worst-jobs list a little help in the promotions department, and recognizing that the list is infinitely more random bull than actual algorithms, I’m much better off choosing as my worst job something that will get a lot of people aware of my list.

    If lumberjacks is last on the list, there’s a slight buzz in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, but that’s about it. If reporters is last, well, that list is now in its fourth news cycle of making the rounds.

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