Saturday, July 31, 2004

Nicholas Cage finds love with a sushi waitress. Who is 20.

What would happen if Nicholas Cage married Jennifer Lopez? It could happen. At this point, they have married everyone else in the country.

Actor Nicolas Cage, 40, Gets Married for the Third Time, to 20-Year-Old Ex-Waitress Alice Kim
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES July 31, 2004 — Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage has married for the third time. The "Leaving Las Vegas" star wed 20-year-old Alice Kim on Friday at a private ceremony on a ranch in Northern California, publicist Annett Wolf told The Associated Press.

It is the third wedding for Cage, 40, who split with his previous wife Lisa Marie Presley after less than four months in 2002. Before that, he was married for six years to actress Patricia Arquette.

Kim, a former sushi waitress, met Cage when the actor visited the Los Angeles restaurant where she worked. This is her first marriage.

They started dating in February and reportedly became engaged after about two months.

Wolf declined to provide addition details on the nuptials. No photo was released.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Balloon glitch at the Convention

I think I may use this speech the next time I have to do a tryout with a dramatic monologue. Alas, it was heard by millions on CNN last night. Ooops.

"Go balloons! Go balloons! Go balloons! I don't see anything happening! Stand by confetti. More balloons! Come on, guys, Jesus! No confetti yet. I want all the balloons to go! Go confetti! What's happening to the balloons? We need all balloons! What the f -- are you guys doing up there!?"

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Random thoughts about the Democratic Convention

These thoughts are purely random, as befits the name of this site:

1) Chris Heinz and his brother are both cute. Cuuuuuuute. However, neither one of them can dance. The camera caught them the other night trying to boogie and it was a sad, sad sight.

2) I want a president who can do CPR on hamsters. An unusual trait, but a good one to have.

3) Dang! Dan Rather is wacky! I was listening to him yammer on after Kerry's speech and Rather started commenting on how sweaty Kerry was. Then Rather was quoting from his old English teacher. About perspiration.

4) I liked Teresa Heinz' red dress. I did.

5) Did you know that John Kerry was in Vietnam? And wounded? Gosh, they have barely mentioned that AT ALL.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Seacrest out!

(AP Photo)

Ryan Seacrest's Talk Show Canceled

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES July 28, 2004 — The syndicated TV series "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest" is going off the air, permanently. Seacrest was unable to turn his visibility as host of Fox's "American Idol" into success for the talk and music show, and low ratings led Twentieth Television on Tuesday to announce the end of production.

"I am proud of my team who worked tirelessly every day," Seacrest said in a statement. "I wouldn't have changed anything about this entire experience and I look forward to building my business within Twentieth Television."

The Fox TV-owned studio said it believed the goal of providing viewers with "an engaging and alternative source of entertainment" was accomplished.

"It was our desire that the program would appeal to a wide array of viewers but, unfortunately, the marketplace's response was not as strong as we had hoped," the studio said in a statement. "On-Air," which debuted in January from a studio in the complex where the Academy Awards are held, will be broadcast through Sept. 17.

Seacrest will remain with "American Idol," the hit talent-search series which returns for its fourth season in January. He'll also keep his day job as host of the Los Angeles radio show, "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest," and with the weekly countdown show "American Top 40."

Ax the Tax

(Funny story from my friend Mark),1,3476939.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

Guetzloe: Just call me 'Ax the Tax'

The anti-tax crusader sues to have the phrase included as part of his name on the ballot.

By Mark Schlueb | Sentinel Staff Writer

July 28, 2004

Doug Guetzloe has built a reputation by shoe-horning himself into most every tax controversy in Central Florida.

Now he has gone to court for the right to remind people of that reputation.

On Friday, Guetzloe sued in Orange Circuit Court to force elections officials to print his name as Doug "Ax the Tax" Guetzloe on the ballot when he runs for Republican Party state committeeman in the August primary.

Orange County Supervisor of Elections William "Bill" Cowles has refused. Elections officials say letting Guetzloe have his way will open the door to all manner of crazy nicknames.

Guetzloe calls the decision a travesty of justice.

"Ax the Tax" is the name of his company, but he said it's also his nickname.

" 'Ax the Tax' is what I'm known for," Guetzloe said. "A lot of people don't even know my first name."

He said he thinks one of his harshest critics, Orange County Republican Party chairman Lewis "Lew" Oliver, is behind the ballot decision.

Oliver disagreed.

"He is attempting to put on the ballot the name of a for-profit company that puts money in his pocket," Oliver said.

"Nobody calls him 'Ax the Tax.' "

Perhaps even worse in Oliver's opinion is the fact that Guetzloe is running for a Republican state post but has, on occasion, supported Democrats. Guetzloe has in the past supported Orlando Mayor John "Buddy" Dyer and City Commissioner Patricia "Patty" Sheehan, for instance.

Cowles' lawyer, Assistant County Attorney Diego "Woody" Rodriguez, speculates that a slippery slope could lead to candidates such as John "Champion of the People" Doe.

"It would lead to some ridiculous results in terms of what gets on the ballot," Rodriguez said.

Guetzloe argues that we've already fallen headlong over the slippery slope.

He points toa handful of examples around the state: Pinellas County Commission candidate "Downtown" Virginia Brown; a fire-district candidate from Palm Harbor named Mark "W+9" Weinkrantz; and "Sister" Blackmon Milligan of Panama City, who is running for state attorney.

And don't forget a candidate for Republican precinct committeeman right here in Orange County named Darrin "Scooby" Phipps.

"Why does 'Scooby' go on the ballot and not 'Ax the Tax' Guetzloe?" he asked.

Mark Schlueb can be reached at

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Tigger a molester?

(My friend Sean is now the Disney reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. As you know, I LOVE Disney. Yet weirdness pervades the world. Read more for the story of a possible Tigger with roamin' paws.)

April 9, 2004 Friday, FINAL




BYLINE: Anthony Colarossi and Sean Mussenden, Sentinel Staff Writers

  Erin Rivera was looking forward to breakfast with Disney characters while at the vacation resort with her husband in June 2000.

But when she posed for a picture with a worker dressed as Tigger, the 21-year-old Zephyrhills woman recalled how the character touched her breast with his left paw, while holding her shoulder with his right.

"I don't think it was a mistake," said Rivera, who has a picture of her embrace with the character. "Everybody who goes through my photo album says, 'Tigger is groping you.' "

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that it has received 24 complaints similar to Rivera's since the April 2 arrest of Michael C. Chartrand on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and of battery against a mother and daughter while he was in costume as the friendly tiger character from the Winnie the Pooh stories.

So far 13 of those cases are considered credible enough to be investigated actively, while the rest are being reviewed. Rivera has not reported her case to the Sheriff's Office but said Thursday that she plans to file a complaint.

"It appears we have 24 folks that feel there may have been something inappropriate and that something happened to them," said Jim Solomons, sheriff's spokesman. "We need to prove that it either happened or it didn't happen." He added, "It appears all of our complaints are focusing on Tigger."

Disney would not discuss the spate of allegations since the initial arrest. The company has been cooperating with the sex-crimesinvestigation and referring guests with complaints to the Sheriff's Office, Solomons and Disney officials said. Investigators are mindful Disney could be a magnet for false claims, and former characters said in interviews their actions while in the bulky costumes could be misconstrued by guests.

The Orlando Sentinel obtained several of the Sheriff's Office incident reports in which Disney visitors described inappropriate touching by Tigger from June 2003 to March 2004.

In one case last July, a mother said she was videotaping her 3-year-old daughter at the Magic Kingdom's Toon Town when the Tigger character approached from behind, put his hands around the woman's shoulders and held her for one to two minutes.

"Although she felt uncomfortable, she didn't think that someone dressed as Tigger would act in an inappropriate manner," the report said. "Her daughter asked her what Tigger was doing and the victim jokingly said, 'I don't know; I guess Tigger likes Mommy.' "

Another report detailed an incident last June at the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace. After being approached from behind, the woman told investigators, Tigger's "hands were over her breasts in a cupped type position" for about one minute.

In a February incident, a victim said Tigger was "feeling my butt the entire time the pictures were being taken."

Many victims said they initially were embarrassed by the incidents but decided to come forward after learning of Chartrand's arrest. Solomons acknowledged that the timing and authenticity of the claims will be checked out as part of the probe.

"Are these people trying to get into Disney's pockets?" Solomons asked. "That's why we have an investigation.'

A Disney spokeswoman, citing the ongoing investigation of Chartrand, would not say whether the company handled any similar incidents before his arrest.

Solomons said his office could not immediately determine how many similar incidents involving Disney characters were reported before Chartrand's arrest.

Officials at Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, which both have costumed characters, said they were not aware of similar complaints. Since 1998, Walt Disney World has run criminal-background checks on all new hires, including Chartrand.

Chartrand, 36, of St. Cloud, has been released on $2,500 bail, but he would not comment Thursday on his case.

"I'm not going to say anything," said Chartrand, who was suspended before his arrest.

Several incidents detailed in the sheriff's reports occurred during February and March when Chartrand was working as a costumed character. But it's not clear yet whether he was working as Tigger on the dates of the complaints. Some of the complaints predate his employment, which started in August 2003, according to Disney.

Disney's costumed characters receive training before interacting with guests. Supervisors also videotape new characters' first few work days to make them aware of inappropriate behavior. The training encouraged the touching of guests' shoulders, but specifically made torsos off limits, said Robert Rexach, one of several employees who  played Tigger from September 2000 to July 2003.

"In training they flat out said, 'Don't place your hand over a girl's breast, even if it is [hovering] a foot or two over it. A photograph is two dimensional, so that would look bad," Rexach, 21, said.

Tigger's paws are slightly oversized and contain "one or two millimeters" of padding underneath bright orange fur, he said, adding they are slightly less cumbersome than an oven mitt.

"I could turn pages in a book pretty well, but I still couldn't feel them," Rexach said.

Rexach said that he was dismissed by Disney after a teenage guest complained that he was attacked by Rexach, who was dressed as a Country Bear at the time. Rexach denied the allegation, arguing that he was attacked by the teenager and "nudged" him off in self-defense.

The Tigger of A.A. Milne's storybooks and Disney films possesses a hyperactive bent, and the theme-park character is trained to emulate that upbeat style with frequent arm and leg movements, said Megan Long, who played Winnie the Pooh from 2000 to 2002.

"He's supposed to be really hyper and outgoing. He can't stand in one place. He's not supposed to be grabbing children," said Long, who regularly worked alongside the Tigger character. The gloves that Pooh wore were similar to Tigger's, she said.

"It's not too thick where you can't feel [what you're touching]. It's thick enough so that kids cannot feel hands underneath, so they get the illusion that it's a real teddy bear," she said.

Long said she was always careful to keep her hand on or above the shoulder. If a visitor shifted positions during a hug, Long said she tried to move away immediately.

Once, dressed as Pooh, Long said she knelt down to play with a baby lounging in her mother's lap. To stabilize herself, Long rested her yellow-gloved hand on the woman's knee. "She was like, 'Hey, Pooh, get your hand off my knee,' " Long said. "Inside the costume, we're human and we do make mistakes."

Erin Rivera, who was 18 when she said Tigger touched her, said she was embarrassed but did not report it, thinking no one would take her seriously. After Chartrand's arrest, she too decided to come forward. She said she contacted Disney about the incident, and theme-park officials referred her to the Sheriff's Office.

Rivera said she has been back to Disney twice since the incident, and she has even posed with characters for pictures.

"I just don't get my picture taken with Tigger anymore," she said.

LOAD-DATE: April 9, 2004

Monday, July 26, 2004

Conventions welcome 'bloggers

Webloggers will be out in force at the Democratic Convention this week. Good!,1,868023.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Bloggers form potent para-media
Unfettered, laptop-slinging observers are to post opinions on the Web about the Democratic meeting, the Tribune's John McCormick writes

John McCormick
Tribune staff reporter covering the convention

BOSTON -- As major news organizations unload truckloads of equipment and thousands of people to cover the Democratic National Convention, Bill Scher arrived here Sunday with little more than a laptop and digital camera.

The New York City resident is one of about 35 bloggers who have been given official credentials to cover the convention. Like most independent bloggers, Scher will work for free and pay most of his own expenses, posting his reports and commentary on, a Web site with a typical daily audience of about 6,000.

"I want to try to fill in the gaps of the mainstream media," said Scher, who expects to spend about $1,000 from his own pocket. In a nod to the growing influence of the Internet in politics, the Democrats and the Republicans are for the first time providing workspace and credentials for bloggers at their summer conventions. The parties face the challenge of trying to harness the power of these irreverent voices without giving them a forum to blast their hosts.

Blogs, short for Web logs, are online journals that often feature commentaries on daily events and provide links to other Web sites. They tend to be far more freewheeling, opinionated and sometimes conspiratorial than the average newspaper or television network.

Scher's blog--his slogan is "Where the left is right and the right is wrong"--offers an array of liberal opinions, taking shots at President Bush for such alleged sins as paying insufficient attention to terrorism before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Blogs are emerging as potentially powerful tools for building grass-roots political support, and they have gained popularity ever since then-Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean's official blog attracted scores of visitors and contributors.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Democratic National Convention, said about 200 bloggers applied for credentials to get inside Boston's FleetCenter, but he declined to say how the 35 winners were selected.

The Democrats are going out of their way to make the bloggers feel at home, sponsoring a welcome breakfast Monday and a "Blogger Bash" party Wednesday night.

Some have complained that only those friendly to the Democratic message were given access.

"What it means is that the Democratic Party is looking for more free media coverage, based on who they have credentialed," said Zephyr Teachout, who helped spearhead online activities for Dean's presidential campaign.

Teachout, now doing online work for America Coming Together, a Democratic voter mobilization group, said she is also aware of some credentialed bloggers who are paid political consultants.

"One should not act like they are being journalists when they are writing about someone who pays them," she said, declining to name the individuals.

Most bloggers don't portray themselves as objective reporters.

"I am not going to be a neutral observer. I'm an advocate. I'm an opinion writer or columnist," said Jeralyn Merritt, a Denver defense lawyer and writer of

Merritt estimates her trip will cost about $3,000, and said she already has received about $1,900 in contributions from the more than 7,000 people who typically visit her site each day.

"Bloggers may not be journalists, but we are media people," she said. "I don't know why press credentials require you to be journalists."

Rich Gordon, who heads Northwestern University's new media department in the Medill School of Journalism, said blogs may have their greatest influence when they catch the eye of mainstream reporters, who look to the sites for news tips.

The presence of the bloggers does present something of a risk to convention organizers. Many of the bloggers here tend to be more liberal than Sen. John Kerry, and they may excoriate him if they consider his message at the convention too moderate.

Even the blogging community here has established its own gathering spot to share ideas. offers such tips as how to dress ("jeans, comfortable shoes ... and no ties") and where to find high-speed Internet access in downtown Boston.

Mainstream news organizations are also posting blogs from Boston. The Tribune, for example, will have at least three reporters writing blogs from the convention.

Get ready for "Revenge of the Sith"

New 'Star Wars' movie title revealed


A man dressed as a Stormtrooper holds up a "Revenge of the Sith" T-shirt at Comic-Con in San Diego.

 SAN DIEGO, California (AP) -- The final "Star Wars" prequel is just "Episode III" no more. Lucasfilm announced its new title Saturday: "Revenge of the Sith."

The movie, set for release in May 2005, will link the prequels with the original "Star Wars" trilogy by showing how Luke Skywalker's father, Anakin, went from a sweet-natured slave boy to the galaxy-crushing villain Darth Vader.

The Sith is the evil sect that corrupts Anakin (played by Hayden Christensen) by drawing him into the dark side of the Force, the cosmic power that balances the universe.

Lucasfilm announced the new title at the annual Comic-Con International, the annual gathering of tens of thousands of sci-fi and superhero fans.

It was a risky move -- some of the notoriously fickle "Star Wars" admirers initially bristled at previous prequel titles "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones."

"Star Wars" creator and filmmaker George Lucas did not attend the event, but sent fan relations chief Steve Sansweet in his place.

Sansweet announced the title by pulling off a baseball jersey to reveal a black T-shirt emblazoned with "Revenge of the Sith."

"For some time now, the naming of a new 'Star Wars' movie has taken on some special meaning among core fans who love to take part in guessing games and speculation before a title is announced," Sansweet told nearly 6,500 convention attendees. "And then (they) engage in debate once it is ... so let the debate begin."

Minutes later, a sampling of audience members dressed as Jedis, stormtroopers and other "Star Wars" characters showed they approved.

And then I passed out...

This morning, I passed out while getting a blood test. NOT FUN. I still feel woozy. Think I will skip going to the gym today.

Had to get a blood test to check my cholesterol. (I am olllllllllddddddd). Both my parents have high cholesterol so I know mine will still be high. It has been inching up there for a few years now.

So I go to the lab very hungry, cause I wasn't allowed to eat beforehand. The technician starts poking around my right arm and sounding irritated because I don't have a "good vein." (I guess this is why I am not a drug addict.) This starts making me nervous, but I try to stay calm. I have panic disorder but try not to let it rule my life.

Then she switches to my right arm and is still irritated about my "bad veins." So she sticks the needle IN MY ARM. Not in the crease. IN MY ARM. And MAN does it hurt. I start sweating. There is a rushing, roaring noise in my ears. I feel like I am going to hurl.

Whoomp. My head goes down on my left arm, on the chair. The needle is still in my right arm. I am not sure the tech has noticed that I have PASSED OUT. I come to and she is whining that not enough blood came out. Probably because I WAS UNCONSCIOUS!

I felt really, really sick. She takes the needle out. I put my head between my legs. I wonder if I will hurl. She tells me to lie down.

I do and feel a bit better. Another technician comes in. I think I have had her before when I got a blood test there. I am lying down with my eyes closed. She pricks my arm. WHAT? She is taking blood? I was not prepared. But you know what? It was over in a second. She filled up two vials, lickety split and was done! That was it.

Now I have two bandages on both my arms and look like some sort of clean-freak drug addict. But at least that is over. Not fun.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Need to know what time it is?

This is kind of interesting. And also a little weird.

George Clooney and socks

Two unrelated thoughts:

1) Tonight as I idly flipped the cable tv channels, the BEST possible scenario occurred: There were TWO George Clooney movies on at the same time!!! How exciting is that! So I flipped between "One Fine Day" in which George plays an irascible yet adorable divorced father who meets up with Michelle Pfeiffer when they accidentally mix up each others cell phones. He does that downward stare thing! He is kind to his daughter! He plays with a kitten! Aiiie. On another channel was "Three Kings," in which George plays an Army major in Iraq after the first Gulf War. He sets out to steal Kuwaiti gold and ends up saving refugees. He is kind to refugees! He wears a hot military uniform! Marky mark is also in the movie. Sigh.

2) Where do all the socks go? I now have a collection of seven unmatched socks, all white, but totally different styles. I put two socks IN the washer and dryer. Why don't two socks come out?

Friday, July 23, 2004

My new favorite summer movie

"Napoleon Dynamite" - an indie that won raves at the Sundance Film Festival.

I LOVE this movie. Love it. I also loved "Anchorman" and remembering bits of that movie still make me giggle. "Anchorman" was flat out funny. "Napoleon Dynamite" is flat out clever.

It is the story of a high school geek and all the weird relatives and friends who populate his life, such as his 32-year-old unemployed brother who spends his days looking for love in Internet chat rooms, or his uncle who is stuck in 1982.

Remember how all the teen films of the 1980s were all so self-aware? There was so much angst about "Who will I become?" and "I love her but she doesn't love me" and "Do you think there is enough mousse in my hair?" For instance, the geeks in "Sixteen Candles" KNEW they were geeks and it just killed them because they soooooo wanted to be cool.

Not Napoleon Dynamite. He is a complete freak but has no knowledge that he is a freak. If he did know, he wouldn't care. You know why? Because he can dance. And you will want to, as well, after seeing this movie.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Fun chick lit for summer reading

The Deptford library is now my new favorite hang-out (I know - I am soooo cool!) and I've come across some great beach reads this summer. I recommend:

1) Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot: This is the same author who wrote the sweet and funny Princess Diaries series for teens. But this book is definitely for grown-ups. It is the tale of a twentysomething human resources manager at a New York city newspaper. Her crazy boss, nicknamed the Tyrannical Office Despot, makes our heroine fire the beloved cafeteria cookie lady. The cookie lady then sues the newspaper for wrongful termination. Our heroine winds up giving a deposition and falls in love with the newspaper's cute lawyer. The best part about this book is that it is written entirely in e-mails, letters and journal entries. Now why didn't I think of that?

2) The Second Assistant. By Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare. Altruistic Yankee girl who loves movies takes a job in a talent agency in Hollywood. She is not the first assistant to the Ritalin- snorting top agent; she is his second assistant. Lots of back-biting and thinky veiled references to Hollywood celebs. A little too much inside lingo of Hollywood about deals and such, but I flew through this book whilst sitting on the Stone Harbor beach.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

This is a sign of the Apocalypse!

(7/21: Okay now Jackson's spokespeople are saying this isn't true. But who knows WHAT to believe in his weird world?)

Report: Michael Jackson to Be Father of Quadruplets
Add Entertainment - Reuters to My Yahoo!

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Michael Jackson (news), facing a trial on child molestation charges, is about to become a father to four more children -- quadruplets -- by way of a surrogate mother, Us Weekly magazine reported on Tuesday. 

Citing unnamed sources close to the self-proclaimed "King of Pop," the magazine said Jackson recently spent time with the pregnant mother-to-be in Florida, where he stayed in a $4,000-a-night luxury hotel suite in Miami Beach.

The magazine said Jackson's spokeswoman Raymone Bain declined to confirm or deny the story, saying, "We do not respond to these kinds of stories."

Bain could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

Jackson, 45, already has three children -- Prince Michael I and daughter Paris Michael by his former wife, Debbie Rowe, and Prince Michael II, the child he notoriously dangled from the balcony of a Berlin hotel in November 2002.

Jackson later revealed in a television documentary that Prince Michael II had been born to a woman who was essentially a stranger to him. "I used a surrogate mother and my own sperm cells," he told British interviewer Martin Bashir. "She doesn't know me."

It was in that same interview that Jackson ignited a public furor by saying he saw nothing wrong with having other children spend the night with him in the bedroom of his Neverland ranch home in California.

One youth who appeared in that documentary is now at the center of the child molestation case pending against the performer.

Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with committing lewd acts on a boy under the age of 14, as well as child abduction, extortion and false imprisonment. He has pleaded innocent, and a trial is set for Sept. 13.

Vegas casino boots Linda Ronstadt after she praises "Fahrenheit 9/11"

Um, hello! Whatever happened to free speech???

Casino Boots Ronstadt for Praising Moore Las Vegas Casino Boots Linda Ronstadt After She Praises Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS July 19, 2004 — Singer Linda Ronstadt not only got booed, she got the boot after praising filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" during a performance.

Before singing "Desperado" for an encore Saturday night, Ronstadt called Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth." She also encouraged the audience at the Aladdin hotel-casino to see the documentary about President Bush.

Ronstadt's comments drew loud boos, and some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air.

"It was a very ugly scene," Aladdin President Bill Timmins told The Associated Press. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose."

Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, said he didn't allow Ronstadt back in her luxury suite afterward and she was escorted off the property.

Ronstadt's antics "spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it," Timmins said.

Ronstadt, 58, had been booked to play the Aladdin for only one show.

On Monday, Moore released a letter to The Associated Press that he intends to send to Timmins.

"For you to throw Linda Ronstadt off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me and my film, is simply stupid and Un-American," Moore wrote.

Calls to Ronstadt's manager were not immediately returned.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal before the show, Ronstadt said, "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back."

Timmins said Ronstadt would not sing at the Aladdin again: "As long as I'm here, she's not going to play."

Moore said Timmins owes Ronstadt an apology.

"I have an idea how you can make it up to her and to the millions of Americans you have offended," Moore wrote. "Invite her back and I'll join her in singing 'America the Beautiful' on your stage. Then I will show 'Fahrenheit 9/11' free of charge to all your guests and anyone else in Las Vegas who wants to see it."


Sunday, July 18, 2004

Go Howard, Go Howard, Go Howard! Go!

(Believe it or not, I listen to Howard Stern. I like when he makes fun of the news and interviews celebrities. I turn it off when he points out women's "problem areas" on their bodies.)

Posted on Sun, Jul. 18, 2004

The Philadelphia Inquirer

America Votes | Shock jock veers into fray of election
Howard Stern leaves little to the imagination about whom he supports. It's not Bush.

Inquirer Staff Writer

To the naked ear, Howard Stern is still our regent of raunch. Lately, he has groused to his loyal listeners about the zit on his nose and the cellulite on his butt, dished about his morning trysts with his model-girlfriend, and opined on the watchability of DVD porn.

But Stern has also ushered in the era of shock-jock politics, so when he split for a long vacation at the start of July, he minced no words:

"I'm not only anti-Bush, I support John Kerry... . He's going to be the guy who gets us back on track... . Our audience is really making a difference in this upcoming election... . It turns out everyone listens to us, especially a lot of dudes who are swing voters."

This might seem a bit outlandish, the idea that Stern, who features a 30-second audio clip of flatulence on his Web site, would fancy himself a presidential power broker. After all, this is a guy whose ill-fated 1994 New York gubernatorial bid was based on only two issues: "Fix the roads at night, and kill the criminals."

But he has been railing against Bush for months, on everything from Iraq to gay rights, and this is a guy who each week commandeers 8.2 million pairs of ears; only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have bigger audiences. Stern is a fixture in a number of key states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri. And, starting Monday, he is picking up three new markets in Florida, including the swing-voter cities of Orlando and Tampa, along with Pittsburgh.


"The Bush campaign is ignoring Stern's attacks, which began in earnest in March after the Federal Communications Commission cracked down on his crass talk. Bush spokesman Kevin Madden hews to the high road: "The American people are going to choose their President based on careful consideration of the big issues facing the country, namely the economy and winning the war on terror."

Other Bush backers are willing to utter Stern's name, if only to shrug him off. GOP pollster David Winston says: "Listeners may find it interesting that Stern opposes the President, but they'll put it in the context of entertainment. He's an entertainer, not a political sage."


Stern has been dissing Bush daily, calling him the kinds of names that ticked-off motorists usually use in traffic, and generally painting him as mortal danger to the republic. He has also retooled his official Web site, adding a plethora of anti-Bush links, and featuring a 60-second anti-Bush audio attack ("You committed American troops to war, but when it was your turn to go to war, you went to Daddy and said: 'Boo hoo...'. ").

And fan Web sites record his every utterance. Here's a typical excerpt from June 28: "Howard said that [Fahrenheit 9/11] is scary because it's so real and you see what the President is up to while in office. Howard spent a couple of minutes on that and then took a call from High Pitch Erik who was flushing the toilet."


Media Bistro freelancers party

Heh, they called me Dr. Quigley. Heh Heh. I should correct them. But it makes me sound so smart!

Freelancers Jamie Singer, Dr. Kathryn Quigley, and Corene Lemaitre.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

"Darn! Left the heroin in the rental car!"

Heroin discovered inside a rental car

Inquirer Staff Writer

Gloves, loose change, sunglasses, CDs - all are commonly left behind in rental cars.

Eighty-eight bags of heroin - not so common.

The July 2 discovery of the drugs under a layer of napkins in the console of a Chevrolet Impala prompted employees of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Langhorne to call police.

Middletown officers then hatched a plan to nab Robert Laguerre, the suspected dealer whose wallet containing several identification cards was also found with the drugs.

Using information found in the wallet, Detective Daniel Baranoski began calling various phone numbers to reach Laguerre. Between July 9 and 15, the two spoke several times, and police said Laguerre acknowledged owning the drugs and wallet.

Baranoski, in the role of someone who had found the drugs and wanted to return them for a reward, set up a meeting at the Oxford Valley Mall. Police said Laguerre arrived outside the food court at 10:10 a.m. Thursday to reclaim his drugs and provide a $300 reward.

That is when he was arrested.

In addition to the $300, police seized $1,670 in $5 and $10 bills that Laguerre was carrying. They also confiscated his Infiniti Q45.

Laguerre, who police said was also known as Robert Laquerre, Elijah Laguerre, Robert Minney, Troy Bell and other aliases, had been released April 19 from a New Jersey prison where he spent time for heroin distribution. Police said Laguerre was on parole and had more than a dozen other arrests for drugs and weapons offenses in New York and New Jersey.

Laguerre, 30, of Eisenhower Avenue in Trenton, was arraigned Thursday at Bucks County District Court. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and criminal use of a cell phone. He being held in Bucks County Prison on $75,000 bail.

Police said a Trenton woman rented the Impala on June 17 and returned it to Enterprise June 26.

Enterprise spokesman Lee Broughton said no one had ever left heroin in one of the company's rental cars before.

But, he said, "someone had been to Home Depot and returned a vehicle with a kitchen sink left in the trunk."


All I can say about the Martha Stewart sentencing is that I hope I never have to do five months on house arrest. Basically, because I don't live in a house. I live in an apartment. A one-bedroom apartment. The walls would start closing in MIGHTY fast if I were stuck here for five months.

Note to self: Stay on right side of the law and thus avoid possibility of house/apartment arrest.

Hey now! Give back the U2 CD 

AP The missing recordings are from U2's forthcoming album.

Unreleased CD stolen in France 

DUBLIN (Reuters) - A compact disc of recordings from Irish rock band U2's forthcoming album has gone missing in France, raising fears it will be pirated on the Internet ahead of the release date.

According to the band's Web Site, the CD disappeared from a recording studio in Nice, where U2 were doing a photo-shoot in preparation for the release of their first album in four years.

French police have launched a major operation to find the disc, which contains rough cut versions of several songs.

"A large slice of two years' work lifted via a piece of round plastic. It doesn't seem credible but that's what's just happened to us," lead guitarist The Edge told the Web site

The band is so excited about (the album's) release," band manager Paul McGuinness said. "It would be a shame if unfinished work fell into the wrong hands."

U2, who emerged as a raw young rock band in the early 1980s to become one of the biggest acts in the world, are due to release the album in the autumn.

It will be their first studio release since the successful "All That You Can't Leave Behind" nearly four years ago.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

George Clooney in Italy

Why, oh why aren't I an elderly woman in Italy? Sigh. Sob. Sigh.

George Clooney 'bravo' for Italians

Actor enjoying time in home away from home


George Clooney in "Intolerable Cruelty." The actor bought a house in Italy two years ago.  

LAGLIO, Italy (AP) -- George Clooney shoots baskets with the local kids, carries grandmothers' groceries uphill and works hard on pronouncing "buon giorno."

He has international stardom and rascally good looks, but in this hamlet where Clooney owns an 18th century mansion with a private dock on Lake Como, the star is simply "bravo" -- Italian for "a good person."

Sure, the fans pitching tents outside Villa Oleandra are a nuisance, but locals say they don't mind the extra business their celebrity neighbor has generated since he bought the mansion two years ago.

"He's good and kind with everyone. All you have to do is not intrude on him," said Giordano Saibene, sunning himself on a narrow stone ledge with a view of the pine-shaded villa.

Intruding may include snapping photos -- Saibene said Clooney's bodyguards once threw apples at a fan who was trying to take a picture of the villa.

On a recent lazy July day, word was out that Clooney wasn't in town. So Laglio, surrounded by forested foothills stretching toward the Alps and Switzerland, was enjoying a respite from celebrity watchers.

Only a few days earlier, however, star-watching was at a fever pitch as fans searched for a glimpse not only of Clooney, but his co-stars in "Ocean's Twelve," which was wrapping up filming in Italy. Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon are in the sequel to 2001's "Ocean's Eleven," which is a remake of a the 1960 Frank Sinatra movie.

"Everyone was outside the villa. Old ladies andentire families. There were even those who slept in their car. It was a pilgrimage," said Nearco Folloni, owner of Laglio's Lanterna bar.

Pitt liked to tool around in a rented motorboat, said Daniele Riva, whose family boatyard provided it. Riva said local authorities asked that boats not be rented "to the curious" who might disturb the stars at play. The Rivas, who have built boats for five generations for the rich who summer in Laglio, obliged.

Mariuccia Riva, Daniele's mother, said she first came across Clooney when he had locked himself out of the villa. Since then, he always tells her good morning.

"He says it like this, 'Buon giorno, signora,' " Mrs. Riva said, opening her mouth wide and rolling the vowels in an exaggerated imitation of Clooney's efforts to pronounce Italian.

Clooney is known for hopping into the boat with a white convertible top that he keeps at his dock, zipping guests across the lake to dine in other towns.

A Como newspaper published an appeal by Laglio's Catholic pastor, pleading to fans to leave Clooney in peace, saying Laglio's "tranquility" is its main selling point.

But Folloni contended celebrity is good for business: "Before, Laglio wasn't on the map. Now it is and we like that."

Townspeople say they have an easy relationship with Clooney.

"Maybe because none of us ever bothered him, he would invite us" to join him on a public basketball court, said Saibene.

Clooney would pedal the few miles to the court on his mountain bike, a basketball in his backpack.

The actor was cycling one morning when he saw Saibene's 75-year-old grandmother trudging home with bags of milk, bread and other groceries and carried them for her.

"This man in a cap and dark glasses stopped and asked if he could help. She thought he was an American tourist," Saibene said. "She doesn't watch TV because she's in bed by 8 o'clock. She has hens and chicks to tend to."

Monday, July 12, 2004

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Yeah! The original kids are back for the fourth movie of the series. And a bunch of new actors, too.


By Gary Susman, Entertainment Weekly

Just last month, you plunked down your money to see ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,'' but it's not too early for the hype surrounding the next movie, ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,'' to begin. There are at least 10 new actors in the cast of ''Goblet,'' which began filming last month under a director new to the series, Mike Newell (''Mona Lisa Smile,'' ''Four Weddings and a Funeral.'')

In keeping with the international flavor of J.K. Rowling's fourth Potter book, the upcoming movie has expanded beyond the series' traditionally all-British and Irish casts. The biggest new name is Brendan Gleeson, the Irish actor recently on screen as King Menelaus in ''Troy'' -- he'll play Mad Eye Moody, who takes on the least secure job this side of Spinal Tap drummer: the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching slot at Hogwarts. Other new grownups include Belgrade-born Pedja Bjelac (''Eurotrip'') as Durmstrang professor Igor Karkakoff, as well as British actors Frances De La Tour as Madame Maxine, headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic; Roger Lloyd-Pack as Barty Crouch, head of the Department of International Magic Cooperation; David Tennant as Barty Crouch Jr.; and Jeff Rawle as Amos Diggory.

Among the student cast, the newcomers include Katie Leung, an Scottish girl making her professional debut (having beaten out a reported 3,000 others for the part) as Harry's love interest, Cho Chang. Other newcomers are young French actress Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacoeur, Stanislav Ianevski as Quidditch ace Viktor Krum, and Robert Pattinson (who'll be seen opposite Reese Witherspoon in the upcoming movie ''Vanity Fair'') as Cedric Diggory.

Most of the cast from previous Potter pictures is on board for ''Goblet,'' including Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall), Alan Rickman (Professor Snape), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Gary Oldman (SiriusBlack), and Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew). Notably missing from the cast are Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, and Harry Melling, who play Harry Potter's Muggle family, the Dursleys. Apparently, they've been trimmed from the screenplay in order to keep the running time of Rowling's epic tale down to a reasonable feature length. ''Goblet'' is due in theaters in November 2005.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

That's just wrong...

Here is my list of things that are just plain wrong. E-mail me at and I will add more to the list:

1) Parents who bring their children to Wal-Mart at midnight

2) Pantyliners to wear with thongs

3) Women who still wear stirrup pants from the '80s

4) The war in Iraq

5) Pineapple on pizza

From Bunkboy:

1)Parents who take their kids to the movies past 10 p.m.
2) Doctors who smoke cigarettes
3) Citrus-flavored toothpaste
4) Double-roll toilet paper, because it doesn't fit on my holder

From Tina:
1) When you go to the ladies room and there are 10 empty stalls and another woman comes in and INSISTS on using the stall right NEXT to you. That is wrong.

2) Women who have had numerous children and have rippled bellies yet insist on getting their navels pierced and showing the world in half tops.

3) Having an entire (loud) conversation on your cell phone in a restaurant,
on a commuter train, or anywhere else where others don't really want to hear
your business

4) Hair stylists whose own do's aren't quite up to snuff

5) Low fat/no carb junk food of any kind - kind of defeats the purpose - it
becomes "food" and no longer worthy of the "junk" description

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

EW! Guys Gone Wild

Let me be blunt: This is wrong. Just wrong.

Ew. Ick. No.

I like looking at good looking guys as much as the next red-blooded woman. But naked and jumping on a bed?

Uh, no.

Posted on Tue, Jul. 06, 2004

Finally! Guys get their chance to take it all off
It's a smorgasbord of flesh in the time-honored "Girls Gone Wild" tradition.

Associated Press

Harvey Keitel has done it. Ewan McGregor has done it at least four times. Now all red-blooded American males can drop trou for the cameras.

Introducing Guys Gone Wild, an all-male version of the Girls Gone Wild video series, which promises "the hottest, wildest, most beautiful real co-eds," stripping for the cameras during spring break and doing things they'd never do back home.

"Girls Gone Wild has been around about seven years, and every person who's been involved with it on many different levels has been asked once or multiple times, what about a Guys Gone Wild?," said Bill Horn, a representative of Mantra Entertainment, which produces the videos.

"It was about seeing something different for a different audience," Horn said last week. "We took the mirror image of what we had been doing."

Starting July 13, three titles will be available on DVD and video through a Web site and an 800 number: Guys Gone Wild, Guys Gone Wild: Spring Break, and Guys Gone Wild: Frat Boys.

The stars are young, good-looking guys who aren't shy about taking it all off and letting it all hang out. They gyrate like strippers, do push-ups and, in one memorable scene, bounce up and down on their hotel-room beds while tossing a football back and forth.

Hike? Yikes!

So who, exactly, would shell out $19.99 to see this?

"Based on the reactions I've gotten, college-age girls, maybe older," Horn said. "I think it's going to be a big gag gift, bachelorette kind of gift."

(A recent screening for a group of friends - male and female - elicited squeals of appalled laughter, followed by embarrassed fascination, followed quickly by boredom and shutting off the VCR.)

But Horn also expects the videos will appeal to gay men. "There's a certain amount of gay women who purchase Girls Gone Wild," he said.

The big difference between the male and female versions, though, is the absence of kissing.

Much of the allure of the Girls series, with titles such as Girls Who Like Girls and Mardi Gras Co-eds, is the fantasy it dangles before its viewers - the possibility that the wholesome girl next door could, on a drunken spring break whim, tear off her T-shirt and make out with one of her sorority sisters.

"Let's face it - there's a double standard when it comes to guy-on-guy as opposed to girl-on-girl," Horn said. "It's sexy to see two girls making out. It's not considered sexy to see two guys making out. That's just the reality, and we were there to capture the reality."

Misty Nicole, a 24-year-old aspiring actress, did just that as a member of the all-female Guys Gone Wild production crew. At sunny destinations including Cancun, Mexico, and South Padre Island, Texas, Nicole scoured the parties and sweet-talked the guys into appearing in front of her video camera.

"I look for cute guys," she said. "I go up to them and I go, 'Hey, you're cute. How crazy and wild are you?' They'd be like, 'I'm pretty wild.' Then their friends would come over and they'd see the camera, they'd see the shirt and they'd go, 'Oh, my God, you're with Girls Gone Wild!"

From there, getting them to take off their shirts and yell "guys gone wild" is pretty easy, she said - but about half the time, it requires a little coaxing to get them to go further.

"Some of them, they just need reassurance," she said. "They just got to talk to you a minute."

Another occupational hazard: being hit on constantly.

"Sometimes they get out of control," Nicole said. "Sometimes they try to get my camera and pull me into the shot. I have to deal with about five or 10 minutes of, 'What are you going to do for me? I'll show you mine if you show me yours.' "

A bodyguard always came along to protect the female crew, she said.

When a male production team went toa vacation spot to shoot footage for Girls, a second female crew would go along to grab video of guys, Horn said.

"If there's going to be a good party there for Girls Gone Wild, odds are it's going to be a good party for Guys Gone Wild, as well," he said.

But sometimes, Nicole found, there's a hangover of regret once the party's over.

"There are a few people who come up to me the next day or later that night and say, 'You know what? I'd really prefer that you not use that. My dad is the governor of blah-blah-blah.' Or 'I'm planning on going into politics.' Or 'I'm going into the Army,' " she said. "I lost some really good footage, but I can't do that to them."