Showing posts from November, 2011

Fast Track to Stress

Do any two consecutive months on the calendar pass as quickly as November and December?

I've long said it: once you get past Halloween, it's a slippery slope to the end of the year.

This is both good and bad.

November is almost done, just like that---as usual. Wasn't it just the other day when I was passing out candy?

I say it's good and bad because the holiday season swoops in and that means more expense, more stress and more weight gained.

So it's good that it all happens so fast.

But it's also bad, because there doesn't seem to be enough time for everything, like shopping. More to the point, there doesn't seem to be enough time to assemble the funds needed for said shopping.

Starting on November 1, Thanksgiving already begins to creep into the minds of our lovely wives, who, whether hosting the holiday feast or not, have arrangements and plans to think about.

Turkey Day came relatively early this year (the earliest it can occur is November 22 and this year i…

Yes, He Did

He'd be up for parole every few years, always denied. Then he'd return to his private cell and bob back below the surface again.

Perhaps Geraldo Rivera or Barbara Walters would have interviewed him. His look would be older and gaunter as time went by. Maybe he'd be propped up by some oddballs as a sort of anti-hero, like they do with Charlie Manson et al.

Regardless, he'd have been held up as the assassin of President John F. Kennedy. He would have been the first celebrity "lone nut," as his crime happened just as TV was really beginning to take off as a medium. Maybe you'd see his likeness on t-shirts sold in mall shops such as Hot Topic.

Lee Harvey Oswald, 48 years ago today, squeezed the trigger of his Italian-German rifle and cut down JFK as the president's motorcade rode perilously slowly and past the Texas School Book Depository.

Save the conspiracy nonsense. You'll only get me started.

Oswald did it, the lone nut theory as strong as garlic, in m…

What Happened to Natalie?

I had a crush on Natalie Wood. Still do, truth be told.

She was beautiful and dark haired. In fact, I liked her type so much that I married one.

But I was just 18 when Wood, the actress, died tragically on a night clouded with mystery back on November 29, 1981. She had been enjoying a night on a yacht with husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken, with whom she had just wrapped filming of the movie "Brainstorm."

The official cause of death was drowning, which would have made sense normally, as Wood had clearly fallen overboard. But friends---and Wagner---noted that Wood was afraid of water and it was out of character for her to put herself in a situation where drowning was even a possibility.

Even after it was determined that Wood had been drinking prior to the accident, rumors and innuendo swirled.

The presence of a second man, Walken, only added to the whispers. Wood and Walken had been acting cozy, according to some, and speculation arose that he and Wagner may have …

Lovely Rita

As time marches on, the pioneers among us become fewer and fewer.

No one lives forever, so the trailblazers become endangered species.

"West Side Story," the film version, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, marking the occasion with its release today on Blu-ray Disc.

So appropriate, as one of its stars, Rita Moreno, closes in on becoming an octogenarian.

It was Moreno's portrayal of Anita that did a couple of things, neither of them insignificant.

First, it garnered Moreno an Oscar.

Then, it eventually opened doors for other Latino performers to get work in Hollywood.

This was not insignificant, because Natalie Wood played the lead Maria in "West Side Story" and another white actor, George Chakiris, played Puerto Rican gang leader Bernardo.

Moreno was a pioneer, and typical of such folks, she didn't realize it at the time.

But she knows it now.

She allows, in an interview with the Associated Press, that she's "happy" that her portrayal of An…

Thanks for the Memories

Politics is like good comedy: timing is everything.

Only, what's been going on in Wayne County politics is less comedy and more tragedy.

But timing still is everything.

Oh, how much more interesting would the election for County Executive have been had the Turkia Mullin severance scandal occurred last year instead of this year?

The Little Italian General, Bob Ficano, still likely would have won over his opponent, Republican Mario Fundarski, but the interesting part would have been to see how much less of a margin Ficano would have triumphed.

Or, what if the Mullin scandal hit the news in the spring of 2010? Then maybe a more formidable candidate would have had time to emerge to take on the LIG.

But alas, the cesspool that is the Wayne County political machine is being exposed in full view now, in 2011, some three years before the next County Executive election.

The question now is, how long will voters' memories be in 2014?

A recent poll indicates that 47 percent of likely county Demo…

A Real Sit Down Guy

Sooner or later, Bob Ficano is going to run out of stool pigeons.

The time will come when Ficano, the Little Italian General and sneaky Wayne County Executive, looks around him and the only person left to blame is himself.

Turkia Mullin is out as CEO of Metro Airport. No doubt you know that by now. Her brief tenure as CEO ended Monday afternoon, about two months after she received an obscene severance payment when she left Wayne County after serving as its Economic Development Director.

Mullin had to go. Perception is reality in politics, public and civil service. Once tainted, it's awfully difficult to get that sheen back.

She didn't create the cronyism and palm greasing that goes on in the Guardian Building (County HQ), but she certainly didn't do anything to stop it. Not that that is her charge, but she didn't have to be so sassy about it.

"I'm worth it!" she crowed, like the models in those makeup and shampoo commercials, when the $200,000 severance hit th…