Friday, April 27, 2012

"...Some You Win And Some You Loose..."

Old saying.

Watch your language.

New meaning.

Coming up.

In an article posted online about actress Gabourey Sidibe, she recounts how one of her idols, actress Joan Cusack, told her at a first meeting that the obviously obsese Sidibe should give up on ever achieving any success in Hollywood because of her size and the "image conscious/obssessed" climate in show biz.

Sidibe, who found acclaim in the movie "Precious" and has gone on to be a co-star of the classy Showtime series, "The Big C", was, understandably disappointed that Cusack wasn't more supportive of her dream, but, as the rest of the article articulates, all's well that end's well.

Meanwhile, at the end of the article, as is the way of things these days, the "peanut gallery", more officially known as the "comments" section of the online piece let the opinions fly fast and furious regarding not only Cusack's original "advice" but also a little mini debate on the subject of Sidibe's weight.

Even the more obviously supportive of the commentators seemed to be lined up on the side of encouraging her to drop the pounds, if only for her personal well being.

And, included in the offerings, was a little back and forth triggered by the last sentence of the article itself, in which the writer opined, "We need more Gaboureys (and more Joans) in our movies and TV shows -- and fewer Kardashians.".

Some contributed a healthy "damn straight" while others lamented the apparent need to mention the K word in seemingly every written piece that comes down the information superhighway these days.

A transgresssion, by the way, that his writer, in the interest of full disclosure, has to admit a certain tendancy to commit.

Amidst the cacophony of commentary, though, a single line jumped out and, as Forest Gump might metaphorically offer, "bit me right on the buttocks."

Evoking a pure, unrestrained guffaw.

Sitting right there, knee deep in the hype hoopla, a little light of lament in the midst of pro K versus anti K, of should Sidibe drop the pounds or should it be anybody's business, a young lady named Tonia offered this little petulant plea...

"...For the love of God, people, please learn the difference between lose and loose. It drives me crazy..."

Me, too, Tonia.

Almost as much as reading about Kardashians.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"...They Call It 'Lifetime' Because That's How Long It's Going To Feel Like Watching This Movie..."

Every now and then, the opportunity presents itself, around here, to right a wrong.

As is the case today.

NEW YORK (AP) — Lindsay Lohan will portray Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime film about her love affair with actor Richard Burton.

Lifetime on Monday made official a casting decision rumored for months. The network says Lohan will star in "Liz & Dick," with production set to begin in early June.

There was no mention of who will play Burton or when the film will air.

Taylor and Burton met as co-stars of the 1963 epic "Cleopatra." They fell in love as the world looked on, left their respective spouses and got married. Then they divorced, only to remarry and divorce again.

In recent years the 25-year-old Lohan has gained her own measure of notoriety. "Liz & Dick" represents a step in her attempted career comeback.

Phelpspeak is proud to speak on behalf of all of those who have been so unjustly villified as petty, mean spirited and/or petulant in response to remarks they may have made to the effect that Hollywood has de-evolved into a pile of pandering sycophants, incapable of having an original thought and/or unwilling to show even the slightest signs of intelligent life, existing only, for all intents and purposes, to serve the mindless masses by stubbornly insisting on making celebrities out of nobodies while demeaning the time honored art and craft of quality film making by casting the same five rehab rejects in every project that comes down Sunset Blvd in the pathetic and mistaken belief that notoriety and artistry are synonomous.

And, at the same time, is happy to provide irrefutable evidence that said remarks, far from being petty, mean spirited and/or petulant are, in fact, precise and bullseye dead center accurate.

Said evidence to be found above, in italics.

6 to 5 and pick em, there has been serious discussion about the role of Richard Burton being offered to Charlie Sheen.

The next sound you hear will be....

the scraping at the.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"...We Go As Far As We Can See...And When We Get There...We See Farther..."

The question was, likely, meant as both a curiousity and a satire.

A good friend posted this on Facebook earlier today....

"Why are some of my work friends watching the Space Shuttle landing?? Is this porn for nerds? Tell me cuz I'm missing something."

It should be mentioned, if only for purposes of context, that this friend is a native of England and while he is a good, true and loyal transplanted American, it's understandable that he might see the whole shuttle "final flight" as much ado about nada.

That and he's a young man, not close to old enough to experience the sentimental attachment to what, for us olders, is the completion of a very historic cycle.

As for myself, while I didn't hang online or around the flat screen today to witness the "flight" to D.C., I was aware of it.

 And there were moments throughout the day when memory moments bubbled their way to the surface of my frontal lobe.

My third grade teacher bringing the black and white portable into the classroom on that day in 1961 when Alan Shepherd became the first American to ride a rocket into space.

The ticker tape parade paying literally littering tribute to John Glenn upon the completion of three orbits of our planet in a capsule not much bigger than the Ford Pinto that sat in my driveway years later.

The live coverage and videotape replay of Ed White opening the door of the two man Gemini capsule and wandering around in the magnificent blackness of space, the magnificent blue and white ball of Earth filling the emptiness below him.

The terrible news bulletin announcing the death of Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and that same Ed White, the first American space traveler fatalities, as they sat on the launch pad, inside their Apollo capsule, performing nothing ostensibly more dangerous than some routine tests, the actual liftoff still days away.

The moving moment, Christmas Eve 1968, as the astronauts read from the Book of Genesis while orbiting just a few miles above the surface of the moon. Armstrong setting foot on the lunar surface just seven months later.

The dramatic life or death journey of Apollo 13.

The very first shuttle launch and safe return.

The horror of Challenger exploding in mid take off.

The loss of Columbia on its return from the stars.

And, as if it were scripted by one of Hollywood's finest, the final orbital flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, commanded by Mark Kelly, one of the only set of twins to ever travel into space and the husband of Gabrielle Giffords who, for so many, has come to exemplify not only courage and resilence, but the embodiment of what we, sometimes too freely, throw around in our conversations as "the American spirit."

A story of triumph and tragedy, of adventure and accomplishment, of guts and glory, all played out within a single lifetime....and all brought to a spectacular conclusion with a symbolic flight across the nation inspired by those who gave their all to be a part of that story.

That, my friend, is why some of your work friends were watching today.

But, amidst all the sentiment and spectacle, there remains, at the heart of it all, a much simpler explanation.

Not only in terms of why it matters...but in terms of why we do it, as well.

And that explanation was provided, right on the money, by writer Aaron Sorkin in an episode of "The West Wing."

A probe to Mars had malfunctioned and was, apparently, a complete loss.


We watched the shuttle headed home today because it's what we do.

Just before we ask..."what's next?"

Monday, April 16, 2012

"...One Tragic Side Effect Seems To Be A Significant Loss Of Brain Matter..."

Today's guest co-host on Phelpspeak, the legendary showman P.T. Barnum.

Mr. Barnum will be joining us in a moment.

First, in health and fitness news...


Brides-to-be looking to shed that final 10, 15 or 20 pounds in order to fit into their dream wedding gown have taken a controversial approach to crash dieting that involves inserting a feeding tube into their noses for up to 10 days for a quick fix to rapid weight loss.

The K-E diet, which boasts promises of shedding 20 pounds in 10 days, is an increasingly popular alternative to ordinary calorie-counting programs. The program has dieters inserting a feeding tube into their nose that runs to the stomach. They're fed a constant slow drip of protein and fat, mixed with water, which contains zero carbohydrates and totals 800 calories a day. Body fat is burned off through a process called ketosis, which leaves muscle intact, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., said.
"It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting," Di Pietro said. "Within a few hours and your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days. That's what is so amazing about this diet."
Di Pietro says patients are under a doctor's supervision, although they're not hospitalized during the dieting process. Instead, they carry the food solution with them, in a bag, like a purse, keeping the tube in their nose for 10 days straight. Di Pietro says there are few side effects.
"The main side effects are bad breath; there is some constipation because there is no fiber in the food," he said.

Slipping into a wedding gown for a dream wedding is a moment of truth for most brides, but as many say that there is a real fear that it will not quite fit. That's how Jessica Schnaider says she felt with a June wedding approaching and 10 pounds she says she couldn't lose. She was desperate for a quick fix.
"I don't have all of the time on the planet just to focus an hour and a half a day to exercise so I came to the doctor, I saw the diet, and I said, 'You know what? Why not? Let me try it. So I decided to go ahead and give it a shot," she said.
Schnaider said she was never hungry throughout the 10 days she was on the K-E diet, but admits that it still wasn't easy
"It was emotionally difficult, the 10 days of not eating," Schnaider said. "And sometimes I had to give excuses to people who were asking are you sick? And I was like, 'No, I'm not sick, I'm not dying, I'm fine.'
"I was tired. I didn't feel like exercising. The doctor told me that if you can compliment with walking for a half an hour on the beach, that would be great, but I didn't feel like doing that. I'm a very energetic person, but those days I was a little tired."

Although the K-E diet is new to the United States, it has been around for years in Europe. Dr. Di Pietro charges $1,500 for the 10-day plan, and says the before-and-after pictures sell themselves.
But critics warn that losing too much weight too fast can be dangerous, and it ultimately won't last. Di Pietro warns that people with kidney issues should avoid the diet.
Many doctors also say that with so much pressure on brides to be perfect, it's easy to understand why this kind of rapid weight loss might seem appealing, but might not be healthy.
"If you lose the weight too quickly your mind is not going to be able to catch up with a newer, skinnier you," psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall of Beverly Hills, Calif. said.
Schnaider says that in her case she actually only kept her tube in for eight of the 10 days, skipping the last two because she'd already lost the 10 pounds she wanted.
She has kept it off so far, saying she is looking forward to her big day this summer.

And now, as promised, today's special co-host, P.T. Barnum....welcome, P.T., how are you?

"There's a sucker born every minute."

Boy, isn't that the truth? Well, thanks for joining us today, P.T.

Oh...and may I just add...

1500 bucks for ten days?

For a thousand bucks , I'll put a tube up my own nose and make sure you don't eat any fattening foods for ten days.

Hell, I'll even do it wearing a wedding dress.

And throw in a free sucker.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"...In This Case, I'm Happy To Spell It Out For You...."

One unpredicted pleasure discovered in the writing of these pieces has been realizing the opportunity to, possibly, educate as well as elucidate and, hopefully, entertain.

One such opportunity to educate has presented itself this morning.

A spelling lesson, if you will.

Right after this.

And now, as promised, the aforementioned spelling lesson.

Class, and style, in the game of golf is now, and for the foreseeable future, will be spelled...


And today's extra bonus lesson...

Now, and for the foreseeable future, the word "WOODS" will be spelled...


Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"...And You Will Show Me Some Compassion, Understanding And Respect...Or I Will Kick Your Intolerant Ass..."

Old saying.

Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

Doing a quick scroll through Facebook this morning, I came across a posting by a young homosexual fellow who worked for me in Maryland a few years ago.

The only reason I mention the distinction about his sexuality is to provide context for what he had to "say" in his picture/comment posting.

Here's the picture.

And the caption...?

"This is how I Tebow".

Now, I'm a pretty good judge of wit and humor and I can't honestly tell, from this presentation, whether the whole thing was an attempted witty that fell short or whether he was/is venting some kind of anger at some issue bone he has stuck in this throat.

Either way, I think this posting is offensive.

But not, I'm pretty sure, for any reason you might immediately think.

First, this young guy is a good guy, not someone who generated feeling of relief on my part when our life paths came to a parting of the ways.

Second, it's, at the heart, not for me to judge him for his life choices. "Judge not, lest ye..." and all that.

But, here's two things that seem to, too often, elude so many folks when it comes to them "sticking up" for their particular lifestyle and/or the aforementioned life choices.

The two commons.


And courtesy.

Because I believe that its, in the largest measure, no one's perogative to usurp God when it comes to judging our earthly behavior, I neither condemn, nor condone, my friend's sexual choices.

Glass house, yada, yada.

Nor do I expect that he would feel it his perogative to condemn, or condone, mine.

Here, though, is why his presentation offends me.

I am, as I have satrically mentioned on more than one occasion, a raging, flaming heterosexual.

And, as peers, friends and family will certify, I am no prude, having a capacity for ribald, blue and/or even inappropriate humor at any given time.

All of that said, you won't find me posting pictures and/or comments of my sexual experiences, et al pretty much anywhere, let alone a social networking site that is, let's face it, kids, arguably primarily family oriented.

Dear young friend from days gone by....

If your intention was to vent anger, I hope your problem finds some resolution but, seriously, dude, you picked the wrong place to spew.

If your intention was to editorialize on behalf of homosexuality, all you did was further inflame the already flaming and further alienate those who believe the lifestyle to be an abberation.

Either way, you blew it.

So to speak.

And, maybe even worse than that, you're guilty of something that my own recollection of you tells me is very much out of character for you in your dealing with both the world and the people around you.


You're gay.

I'm straight.

You say potato.

But I really don't need, or appreciate, having it shoved in my face.

So to speak.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"...You Don't Need A High Pixel Resolution To See The Light At The End Of This Tunnel...."

The kids like to "keep it real".

And, if you believe the blather from the various and sundry applicable television producers, so, too, do the audiences of reality shows.

Evidence, however, in the form of the latest Nielsen ratings to the contrary.

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for March 26-April 1. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

1. "NCIS," CBS, 18.62 million.

2. "Dancing With the Stars (Monday)," ABC, 17.96 million.

3. "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 17.87 million.

4. NCAA Basketball (Saturday), CBS, 16.6 million.

5. "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 15.88 million.

6. "Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 15.7 million.

7. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 14.75 million.

8. "Person of Interest," CBS, 14.59 million.

9. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 13.96 million.

10. "The Mentalist," CBS, 13.62 million.

11. NCAA Basketball special (Saturday), CBS, 13.61 million.

12. Academy of Country Music Awards, CBS, 13.1 million.

13. "The Voice," NBC, 11.99 million.

14. "Castle," ABC 11.87 million.

15. "Blue Bloods," CBS, 10.72 million.

16. "Dancing With the Stars (special)," ABC, 10.7 million.

17. "Unforgettable," CBS, 10.51 million.

18. "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.09 million.

19. "Survivor: One World," CBS, 9.99 million.

20. "Body of Proof," ABC, 9.72 million.

Worth noting, of course, is that out of the top twenty shows in this week, the only "reality" TV making a dent are the "contest" shows like DWTS and Idol.

And there is a strong case to be made that these are neither, technically, reality shows nor anything new on the TV scene.

Talent contests, such as they are, have been a staple of American television since the 1940's.

The point here?

That, apparently and thankfully, the viewing public is sending the message to television production companies that they will always prefer well written, well acted drama and/or comedy as well as good old fashioned "dreams come true" talent contests to any mindless, low rent talentless sister/bitching bridesmaid/in bred swamp family/blah blah "reality" blather spread across our flat screens like so much manure.

One need not be a Rhodes scholar to realize that the primary reason they continue to crank out that crap is the no production cost/all profit nature of what is nothing more than voyeurism doled out in twelve minute segments between commercials (or promos for next hour's crap).

That said, and the current ratings taken into consideration, though, the powers that be in the industry might be well advised to focus less on the fast bucks fast lane and maybe take a look down the road.

Because, at some point, just as the Ipod freed us from the audio blather than conventional radio cranked (cranks) out, so, too, will the technology bring us video alternatives, as well.

Come to think of it, the first wave of those alternatives is already available.

Hulu. Spreety. FreeTvonline.


In many cases, commercial free.

Not to mention crap free.

How's that for keepin it real?