Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Watching poor Yahtzee strategy is painful

Life can be sad. There is hunger in Africa, child abuse and violence around the globe. But perhaps the saddest thing I've encountered is someone playing Yahtzee who tries for a full house.

Man, the name of the game is "Yahtzee," not "Full House." A lot of times, when people try for a Yahtzee, a full house creeps in anyway, and then, OK, take the 25 points and be proud.

I consider myself a Yahtzee aficionado but until recently, never realized who the smart-looking guy on the scorecard was. That is none other than Edwin S. Lowe, whose company first marketed the game in 1956. Eventually, Lowe sold his company to Milton Bradley in 1973 and the rights to Yahtzee.

When I was a lad, I called the guy with the hat Mike Fischlin, who was a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians at the time. Due to rigorous Internet research, I have realized that Fischlin was not that smart-looking fellow.By the way, Fischlin was known for his fielding, and he is among the worst-hitting major-league baseball players of all-time. He played for 10 years, batted .220 and had just three home runs and 68 RBI.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Red Lobster is only a dream

My mouth watered, and I yearned to get in touch with the seafood lover in me, growing up in Cleveland. Ooh, man, those Red Lobster commercials made lobster and shrimp look oh-so-delicious, but consuming that classy food felt unattainable. Where the hell was this glorious place?

It turns out hardly any Red Lobsters were in the Cleveland area, but those commercials still ran a lot. Granted, I had a fabulous restaurant called Ponderosa close to my home, and that was before the place made a corporate decision to cater to white trash. But Red Lobsters were hard to find, and today, only four Red Lobsters grace the Cleveland area.

Years passed. Perhaps decades passed. Every so often, those delectable Red Lobster commercials came on my TV, and emotions stirred in my belly. Could this place be as great as advertised?

Well, I finally made it to a Red Lobster in Lakewood, Calif., and let me say this: That place sucks. Damn, what a letdown!My food didn't look like the stuff in the commercials at all. I didn't get sick because of the food. I got sick because of having my dream killed. My innocence was lost.Apparently, others agree that Red Lobster sucks, too, and some blog about it. Seriously, though, Red Lobster wins the Snooze Button Generation's dubious award for the biggest distance between fantasy and reality for commercials I watched as a lad.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Courts make a mockery of true love

Whenever a celebrity couple breaks up, I have the same reaction: "Damn," I say. "I thought those kids we're gonna make it."

Truth be told, so many celebrity couples look doomed from the start. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston? Marilyn Manson and Rose McGowan? Eh, a lot of these relationships look goofy or fake, and it is no surprise when the couple breaks up.

Enter Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall. Now, I thought those kids we're gonna make it. But they didn't - not because of divorce, mind you - because J. Howard died. He was 90.When the dynamic duo was married, he was 89, and she was 26. They met in a Houston strip club and presumably enjoyed a love affair of a lifetime, even though they were married for only 14 months before he died in August 1995. Strangely, he did not put Anna Nicole in his will, and I conjecture he did that because he didn't want to look foolish to his family and business associates.

By the way, J. Howard Marshall was an oil tycoon. His estate today is valued at $1.6 billion.

For the past 15 years, the Marshall and Smith families have been fighting in courts over the estate, even though the two lovebirds are deceased. Finally, this week, a ruling was made, giving the Smiths absolutely nothing.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the ruling. The Smith family should get some of that $1.6 billion. The family was asking for $300 million, and that seems a bit high. How about $100,000 for each day Smith was married to old leatherface? That would amount to $42 million. If that's too high, how about $10,000 per day, or $4.2 million?

Deeper questions arise with the Anna Nicole marriage and the court ruling. This case is far bigger than it seems.

How much is love worth? Is there a price for love? Would you sleep with Skeletor for millions? Why do people assume she married him for money?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Grimace used to be evil

Philosophers tend to focus on the wrong questions. They ponder lame questions like: "Do you humans have souls?" or "Is an afterlife possible?"

The real important questions, though, are: "What the hell is Grimace?" and "Why the hell is he called Grimace?"

Ronald McDonald is a clown, and Hamburglar is a small-time, hungry thief. Grimace is a purple blob and baffles me. Who are you, my purple friend?

The word "grimace" means a frown, or a facial expression of displeasure. Why would this jolly purple guy have such a negative name?

It turns out out that Grimace originally was a villain, "The Evil Grimace." He had an extra pair of arms and stole milkshakes, then hoarded them. ... I love this world.After some crime, Grimace's character was revised to lose his extra arms and be a good guy. He then was part of the McDonald's gang and saw how Hamburglar got his stripes and how once Hamburglar wished everything he touched turned to cheeseburgers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No comment

"We have heard that you were a war criminal, used to wear dresses and eat discarded kitten claws. When was the last time you did any of that stuff?"

"No comment."

As a journalist, I frequently used to face similar scenarios, where the person being interviewed would answer, "No comment."

Every so often, I would put the "no comment" in the newspaper when I felt it was absolutely necessary. Regardless of what was in the newspaper, I normally knew the truth of a situation based on how the person would deliver his "no comment."

A terse, angry "no comment" meant the person did what you were asking about, was angry at himself for doing it and was hoping the world would stop asking him about it.However, if the person said, "I know what you are referring to, and it's just not appropriate for me to answer those questions now," that could mean it didn't happen.

Some people are aware of the journalistic connotations connected to "no comment" and were at such a high level of interviewing, that they could make jokes about it.

"Is it true you're dating Jeanie Buss?"

Pause. "No comment." Wink.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jupiter: The Kimbo Slice of planets

I am not a fan of seeing people pummeled in the face or of hearing bones crack. That is why I dislike kickboxing, which many call "UFC."

Still, as a self-dubbed lifelong learner, I am open-minded to new things. So I gave UFC a chance, but was not enamored by it because of the overt violence.

Connected to my open-mindedness, I also have been reading about our solar system and planets and was amazed by the information in the 47-page book "Extreme Planets!" by Mary Kay Carson. While many might consider "Extreme Planets!" a mere children's book, I was shocked by its information that I should have already known.Holy balls! Jupiter is a huge planet. It is bigger than all the other planets combined and is the Kimbo Slice of planets. Also, most of the planets - except for Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars - are made of gasses.

Jupiter has 63 moons. Although its atmosphere is whack, if there is life elsewhere, Jupiter's moon Europa has the best chance of having life. One moon, Io, is full of volcanoes. Another one, Ganymede, is the biggest in the solar system.

But Europa. Wow. That sucker has water and ice, and that means there is the potential for microscopic life.

Who knew? Well, I guess a lot of people, but as I was reading this to my preschool daughters, I was shocked and realized this: "Daddy has a lot to learn about Jupiter."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lucas, we will miss you

Lucas is dead.

Although Corey Haim was found dead today at 38 in what appears to be an accidental drug overdose, many in the Snooze Button Generation may not be shocked. Haim had been in terrible "check yourself before you wreck yourself" shape for years. He is another reminder that child stars often live painful, tragic lives.

But, hey, let's remember Corey Haim for his teen work. I like "Lucas" the best of his roles, but "The Lost Boys" is his most popular film. I don't think Haim ever played an innocent teen after "Lucas." Then, he played heartthrob teens - and that's probably messed up.

A few others of Haim's films are relatively well-known, such as "License to Drive," "Dream a Little Dream" and "Murphy's Romance." Between 1982 and '98, he was in a whopping 32 films. Man, that's a whole lot of obscure stuff.

Less than two years ago, Haim and the other Corey, Corey Feldman - who I once met at a Long Beach Grand Prix and yukked it up with - said in a reputable story that they were sexually abused as children. Around that time, Feldman appeared to be getting healthy. Haim, on the other hand, was not and looked horrible on the duo's reality show "The Two Coreys." Perhaps Lucas died far earlier than today.Man, I can't imagine being a child star. It must stink when you did the thing the Snooze Button Generation will remember you for when you were 14. Then, innocence is lost, and before you know it, so is your life.

Dream a little dream, Corey. Dream a little dream.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Masturbation: Please don't sing about it

Many journalists contend that the more access they have, the better. I subscribe to that idea, but believe a line must be drawn for too much access. I draw that line at knowing a person's masturbatory habits.

Some taboos need to be broken, such as the smell connected to asparagus urine, but self-love may not be one of them. It is not because this taboo is awkward or uncomfortable, but because nearly every song about the subject is horrible.

A lot of people say Cyndi Lauper's 1983 tune "She Bop" is tops when it comes to songs with masturbatory themes. I like "She Bop" more now than when it was released and was unaware of its self-love theme until a knowledgeable friend told me about it. But, quite frankly, I never feel fulfilled listening to "She Bop."

The Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" is the most blatant example that explores this theme, but it is too obvious and an accidental joke song. Other songs, such as Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator," seem to be about self-love if they were about me, but not everyone has my interpretation.With all these mishits with masturbation songs, Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself" has to be the best song with this theme. But here's the rub: Idol has said in interviews that the song is not meant to be about the taboo, but merely about people who dance alone.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Chewbacca collection: The "greatest" ever

We are all going to die.

That is why I am not a fan of collections. "You can't take it with you," I say. So what is the point of materialism and hoarding items? Collections often are manifestations of obsessive-compulsive stars, and they scare me.

But my Chewbacca collection is different. Over the past two weeks, my Chewbacca collection has had a Renaissance because I have discovered a little-known website titled

My Chewbacca collection has ballooned from nine figures to 15 and a Chewy Frisbee.My Chewy collection is the only collection I have, and I like to think it is not a collection, but a commentary about other collections.

Some collectors make common, grave errors with their collections, and I will not make those mistakes. For example, I do not believe action figures, or any toys, have greater value if they are not opened or played with. Chewies must be used!

I also refuse to pay significant cash for Wookiees (correct spelling). Friends tell me there must be numerous "greater" Chewy collections, but by my criteria, I like mine just fine because I am not a Star Wars geek and consider it "the greatest."

Why Chewbacca? The Wookiee speaks to me. Quirky and hairy, he is an elegant gentleman.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Champagne is being pimped out

As an expert of sophistication, I frequently run across gauche uses of classy items that make me wonder if those items are, indeed, classy. This is the case with limousines, in which they tend to be used as party puke-mobiles and, thus, have been deemed TOTALLY NOT CLASSY by the Snooze Button Generation.

Because of locker-room celebrations and "champagne rooms" in strip clubs, I am wondering if champagne, like limousines, is being misused enough to be considered not classy.

Through extensive Internet and personal research, I have determined that while champagne is frequently misused, it remains classy. However, champagne rooms are definitely not classy.Man, if I were champagne, I'd be pissed off:

Why you gotta pimp me out at your sleazy clubs? I come from France, not a trailer like a lot of your dancers. I bet you use mere sparkling wine in your "champagne rooms," too. I wish I could sue. But what do I know? I'm just a bubbly alcoholic beverage.