Posts Tagged ‘Herbert & The New Shazzam’

The Official, Unofficical Countdown

May 27, 2010

So, American Idol is all packed up for another season and the outcome was a bit of a disappointment. I was really hoping Crystal would win, I think she deserved to win, but, as you probably don’t need me to tell you by now, Lee took home the title. They were both good, but she was the more consistent, whereas he was the most improved, which you can’t prove by me taking into consideration this past Tuesday’s performance. I thought he dropped the ball on all three of his songs. But based on the entire run of the season, those two were the ones that had to be in the final. And so we also said good-bye, or good riddance in some circles, to Simon Cowell. And didn’t Janet Jackson look FAN-TAS-TIC last night? Holy moly. And now the newts have gone on hiatus and have disappeared to parts unknown, some shangri-la, until their services are needed again, but they left their last post all set and ready for you to look at.

The doctor’s office called yesterday with the results from my latest blood work and the numbers for my cholesterol and triglycerides were elevated (unalarmingly as I was made to understand) but he wants to see me again to discuss the best course of treatment to get them back to normal.

It’s just about 7:30am and I’m already impatiently waiting for the air conditioner to kick on. I remember the days before we had the central air installed, it was hot in this house, but I never really minded until one summer it was about two relentless weeks of mid-90 degree temperatures and high humidity and I got to the point I simply could not function. It was a hot day yesterday and even last night the temperature outside was hovering at 80 degrees, so the air in the house is hot. I suppose I could override the set time I have the thermostat, which was set for when I still worked outside of the house and no one would be in (so why run it so low?) but then I wouldn’t appreciate it when it does kick on later this afternoon. And I have to keep in mind this is only the beginning. It’s not even summer yet, officially.

I also sent away for my Art Linkletter points (97) but I haven’t gotten any response yet.

I still have some work to finish up (oh, by the way, I found and corrected that mistake I made reference to yesterday) so I’m not exactly sure what time later this afternoon will officially mark the beginning of the weekend and so far, according to this morning’s 10-day forecast of Northern Pennsylvania, conditions are still looking favorable.

Have a great Memorial Day and see you in June!  And don’t forget to check out the newts’ final “Idol” recap! 


The Lost Wednesday

May 19, 2010

What I want to know is how is got to be May 19th already. It feels more like March 19 with this dreary damp rainy weather. Except is was just around that time my basement was flooded and so far even with all the rain we’ve been having, the seepage is at a minimum. And now that I’ve just jinxed myself….

My creative mind is mush, having worked til nearly eleven last night after putting in a regular full day. It’s the end of the month push and we are swamped with tons of work. So, I’ve got little other than numbers–test codes and dollar amounts – flashing before my eyes. Not very entertaining to be sure.

But never fear, the newts were also hard at work last night to hopefully keep you entertained and informed about the final 3 contestants on American Idol. So, give them a look-see and don’t let their efforts go unnoticed. 

Bottoming Out, Two By Two

May 13, 2010

The Lou Crew came yesterday morning as promised to blow all the sawdust out of the driveway as he said he would late Tuesday afternoon when he stopped by to make sure the chipper people had come like they were supposed to. But, it was rainy and the sawdust became impossible to move, but they did the best they could. I had intended to it, but when I was told they would take care of it, I figured, well, fine. Oh well, it’ll blow away eventually.

Had my sauce last night and as it turns out, I was a little too ambitious with one of my ingredients. I’m not used to making a small sauce. Usually when I make it, I a big pot and end up with a dozen or so quarts. It didn’t stop either of us from eating a healthy helping of spaghetti, though.

You heard about the killer eel, didn’t you? Well, really killer practical joker friends of an unidentified Chinese chef. After a heavy night of drinking, with the 59 year old chef passed out, his friends decided to yuck it up and insert a 20″ Asian swamp eel into his…let’s say “exit”… and it ended up gnawing its way through the man’s intestines, resulting in  death from severe bleeding and sepsis 10 days later. Guess they didn’t have a razor to shave his eyebrows. What gets me is the effort it must have taken to even accomplish such a task.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the daughter of a 62 year old man took him to the hospital after a suicide attempt with a stuffed zucchini.   Stuffed where zucchinis and eels should not go! It was some ancient suicide ritual he’d heard about. He’s recovering nicely in the hospital. Guess he didn’t have a razor to slit his wrists.

Well, speaking of body parts, I was watching Ellen last night (still catching up on back episodes–this one from the 4th of May) and she was talking about how her back went out again, that it was a bulging disc. And as luck would have it, there’s a video of someone else having the same problem, more or less.

And now that you’re fairly grossed out and slightly amused, take a look at how the newts’ predictions panned out last night.

Newt Road Trip, Part 2

April 29, 2010

The New Shazzam Hey, we’re late folks and we’re both exhausted ,but we’re here… trying to catch up with tonight’s show. There’s a promise of a recording of it, but, at press time we don’t have it so we’ll pick it up from here

Herbert Lady AnteBellum-a sultry sweet rendition of their ‘Need you, need you now’. We should have some of their music. They’re actually pretty good. Why don’t we?

The New Shazzam Who knows? It’s really Brian’s music collection and it is very varied and yet you’re right, they’re missing. I’ll agree with you they’re great and a good looking duo they really are. Even their group name is interesting.

Herbert Hey Shazz, it looks like we’ve missed a lot so far– The bottom three are Michael, Shioban and Casey? No way! Wow… really? Well-there’s a chance America may get it right after all. I know you want Shioban to go and we both are done with Michael, but if Casey goes–it’ll really be a surprise.

The New Shazzam But before they continue with the results, Rascal Flats performs with Shakira doing her ‘Gypsy’ she looks great, an exotic goddess and sounds lyrical. Could have done without Rascal Flats, but overall it was a good performance.

Herbert And it’s back to the results and the threat to see who’s going tonight. Well, the usual very unnerving moment continues with the shocker that Mike is safe again-just not right.

The New Shazzam With that choice for safety, I’ve still got a chance and left on the stage are Shioban and Casey-one leaves us-we’ll find out who…. right after the break.

Herbert A disappointment in either case-won’t you agree? Well, no I know that if she goes you’ll be ecstatic. You’ve had your tail in a bunch since she first sang and then screeched and screamed her way into so many others’ hearts. They are both justifyable quite tense and it is Shioban Magnus who’s cast off. In a way, we were both right (based on last night’s performance) but my premonition was wrong, to Aaron’s benefit. An independent spirit as Ryan calls her and now Shioban’s off the show and still manages to smile. I know you had little use for her, but allow me my sad moment as I see her go. To your chagrin, I’m sure we have not heard the last of her. She finishes her last night on the show with Aretha’s ‘Think’. Don’t laugh at me… I’ll miss her.

The New Shazzam Yea … yea. Ok…. softie! Folks, I hope you can excuse our impromptu reporting this week, but we did not want to leave you flat just because we’re not in our regular digs. Man, these road trips are killers! What do you say H-man? Let’s enjoy our week and be back next Tuesday at our usual spot?

Herbert Ok. Please pass me the tissues. Not since ‘My Lily’ was voted off have I felt sadder…Sigh…

The New Shazzam And don’t forget to check out Brian’s website and rumor has it he might be back tomorrow to closes out the week.

We’ve Been Blogged

April 8, 2010

Before I get into my review of “Promises, Promises”, which is a whole story that I have to try to whittle down to a manageable length, I want to tell you that Ariel and I have been immortalized on the Uni-Lazy website. Click here to check it out!  Hard to believe we’re talking about Uni-Lazies when I finally relented and turned on the air conditioners last night. The temperature downstairs was 81 and upstairs, 86. I saw on the widget on my computer the temp outside today got as high as 90. April 7th. Go figure!

So, “Promises, Promises”… First, my cab was late coming to pick me, the first time this company has had me feeling a little stranded and helpless, but when he got here, we tore off and still looked like we’d make it until he got a call to pick up another fare also going to the train. He told the dispatcher he wouldn’t wait for this woman because he had his “steady that has to get to his train”. Made me feel good, but alas, I missed my train. I was willing to pay the penalty for not buying my ticket at the booth just so I could get on my way. But as I got the platform, the train was pulling away. But to my consolation, an express was due in in less than fifteen minutes and while I waited, I got this picure.

Yes, it’s snow, between the platform and a parking deck. With that curious thought running through my mind, I was whisked away to Manhattan on a double decker train. Love those!

I was like a missile heading to our meeting place up on 52nd Street once I got out of that ant farm known as Penn Station and it became clear to me that it must be a cosmically inherent unwritten rule that no physical contact takes place on the street, no matter how you have to slow your pace or contort yourself to get around someone when you’re going at a clip you just don’t want to stop, because if you do, someone behind you will take over your lead.

A quick nosh and a cold beer was mine 20 minutes later and soon we were off to the theater which was just one block away. Sounds easy, yes? Well, there was a Sigley involved, don’t forget that little tidbit. Earlier in the afternoon, there had been a manhole explosion and the block we needed was barricaded, even to foot traffic. A police officer told us that “Jersey Boys” wasn’t going on since it was right in the middle of the affected block, but she had no information on “Promises, Promises”. Well, like mice in a maze, we made our way to the theater, crawling under do not cross tape and ducking around emergency vehicles. The theater was open and as expected, the curtain was delayed in going up.

This little mouse found his cheese up on the stage only 12 rows away. I gave the show an 8. Of course, we were all giddy waiting to see Kristin Chenoweth, but I have to be honest, Sean Hayes, in his debut Broadway performance, absolutely stole the show at a comedic pace that was consistent throughout. And it seemed to us, that although La Chenoweth is a force to be reckoned with in her own right, seemed almost wasted (which I mean as a compliment to her) in this production; almost as if the producers wanted to ensure a “name” to draw an audience. But her part, by comparison, was small, but as ever she is a unique gem to witness in person and I think Sean Hayes could carry the show on his own merit.

The story, in case you’re not familiar is about C.C. Baxter, an aspiring executive in an insurance firm who loans out his apartment to his bosses for their extramarital trysts in return for the promise of advancement in the company–the movie was “The Apartment” with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

All in all, “Promises, Promises” was a feel good, light-hearted (in spite of the attempted suicide) way to spend an evening with friends.

Let’s see how the newts made out last night.   


Are We Snowed In?

February 26, 2010

I really don’t know yet. I wrote this last night, in anticipation of having to be outside shoveling this morning. So, if I haven’t amended this blog with any snow totals or anything by the time you read this, you can figure I’m cleaning out my driveway.

But, it never fails with these storms. It began snowing here about 6 or 7 yesterday morning and since the forecast was so dire, Ariel, who had the foresight to bring work home with him just in case, ended up staying home. His ride one way to his job is, on a good day, about an hour so you could imagine what he’d be up against with this impending storm. So, we worked side by side all day long watching the snow whip around through the office window amounting to absolutely nothing. In fact, the driveway went through phases of being dusted with snow and clear asphalt. Ho hum, right?

We kept track on TV; one report said up to 6″. The next report said 10-12″ One report even said 12-24″ I’m not making that up. Then, the snow stopped and all we had was about a half inch. The wind finally picked up, as it was supposed to do while we watched American Idol and afterwards I turned on the weather channel and they were saying between last night and by the time it stops today we should have 7″

So, like I said, unless we’re tunneling our way to civilization I’ll have time to amend this post.

But it figures, I’m supposed to be having my mother and Sue over for dinner tonight, but that’s weather permitting now. And Ariel and I had plans to go visit a friend down the shore on Saturday, but that will probably go off without a hitch. But one thing the weather won’t stop us from is our weekly weigh-ins tomorrow, and I’m feeling good that I might have dropped some more.

And click in below to see how the nutty newts did on their first official vote-off.

It’s just about 7:30 Friday morning. I’ve been awake since my usual time, 4:45 (I know…. don’t ask!) and finally crawled out of bed by 6. It’s snowing and blowing but it doesn’t look to be as catastrophic as the radio would otherwise have us believe.  I’d say, here on my lawn, there are approximately 4″ of snow, with some spots obviously looking higher with drifts (big deal…another 2″). But snow has been blown to my window sills and lower portion of my windows are aproned with snow. I think I saw two flakes that looked alike, but it was my reflection in the glass. Well, needless to say, Ariel will be home again today so there’s no need to dash out to clean the driveway. We can do that later.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Caution: Life Happening

February 24, 2010

First there was coffee that burns laps when spilled while clenching a paper cup between ones thighs while driving. She should have been drinking my coffee. I swear, I can’t keep it hot long enough to get from my kitchen to my office. Then we had a quick jab at M&M’s because a man chipped a tooth on one. And of course the bonanza of warnings against runny eggs; one week they could kill you, the next they were as safe as water, that is, unless they found something in the water and you had to boil it. But then if you boiled it you couldn’t let your kids near the stove because, God forbid, you should turn your back on the stove for an instant and the kid puts his had on the hot burner. Then it’s a trip to the emergency room and DYFS is called in to haul you-the abusive parent-off to jail while your adoring child gets shipped off with some foster family, who, as it turns out, has a history of pedophilia who got rich from the book deal they had about how they were misunderstood and mistreated by their neighbors and because of privacy laws, you couldn’t  even have known that  they lived next door in the first place. All this because no one parent can keep an eye on a child 100% of the time. In my day, getting burned on the stove was a lesson not to do that again. I also used to ride my bike without a helmet and I turned out alright. I also had parents and family members who didn’t need to take breaks and would watch when I would misbehave and correct me. I’m still alive to talk about it. Fancy that!

Oh, the scenario could go on for days. But now you can add yet another hazzard to every day living–the hot dog. I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, high on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ wishlist is to have choking hazzard labels on packages of hot dogs. Better yet, they’d like to see the weiner redesigned; size, shape, and texture so they won’t get lodged in a baby’s throat. Well, first of all, knowing what goes into a hot dog (or rather, in this case, ignorance is bliss) why would a parent be feeding a hot dog to a baby? But that’s not the point. If the kid just has to have a hot dog, how about a homemade redesign in the kitchen, using a knife and fork? And let us oldsters, who really should know better anyway, but who have mastered the art of chewing, continue to enjoy this grand old American tradition. I like mine with mustard (yellow–it has to be yellow, otherwise it’s not a hot dog), ketchup and relish.

Other  foods that are of similar concern are grapes, bananas, and carrots. Bananas? Don’t they just mush in your mouth? Grapes? How can they be redesigned? Grown larger like an apple? And come on, how many times has anybody gotten overzealous biting into a red delicious and got a piece lodged in their throat? Now we have redesign the apple. Did water ever go down the wrong pipe and make you cough? Has anybody ever blinked their eyes? Think people, we have to find a way to stop blinking.

Well, one bright spot in the article I’m reading about this hellishly dangerous hot dog is Janet Riley’s, president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (didn’t know there was such a thing) take on this issue. She notes that over half the packages of hot dogs sold already have choking prevention tips on their packages but also says, “As a mother who has fed toddlers cylindrical foods…I would ‘redesign’ them with a paring knife until my children were old enough to manage on their own”.

The biggest concern over hot dogs really should be why they are packed in 10’s and hot dog buns are sold in packages of 8. That’s the real hazzard. And who can enjoy a hot dog on a slice of bread? I always refused and was sent out of the kitchen and got told to back away from the TV, I was sitting too close. And then….oh the list goes on and on.

Enough of all that, go see how the newts judged last night’s cavalcade.

To Shovel Snow, Perchance To Dream

February 17, 2010

I had a pretty busy morning yesterday and my blog was the one thing I didn’t get to. All before 8:15, when I started working, I straightened up the kitchen, which involved emptying the dishwasher and refilling it, washing the non-dishwasherable items by hand, shoveling the driveway of the between 2 and 3 inches of snow with a broken shovel because the other one mysteriously disappeared, showering, and going to the grocery store for a few necessities.

I had a curious snafu with my computer the day before. All of a sudden, it shut down and when it came back up, I could not get into any website that required a sign in, ie, my work, my email. The homepage of my work sign in had a certificate authenticity warning and after I would sign into my email, the homepage of which was intact, gave me the same warning. I shut down numerous times and called the help desk at work. She told me what to do to get in so I could work, but didn’t recommend I plunge ahead like that for other websites. By looking around at different things, I discovered clock wasn’t right. I hovered over it and further discovered I’d stepped back into time. It was 2004. I reset the whole thing and I was able then to access my email and everything else I couldn’t up until that point.

Let me see if I can tell you that dream real quick. I was at some sort of either convention or trade show; the setting was rather warehousey, with boxes and wooden crates all over the place. There was a focal point sectioned off by some crates and things and people were milling about inside. All women. The turned their focus on me and told me I belonged in that area because my name had been drawn and I entered the area with no idea of what was going on. Suddenly, in that marked off area there appeared a bed, of sorts, with a woman lying virtually motionless. She was dressed in a heavy purple cable knit turtleneck sweater and snug black slacks and her hair was in a tightly curled medium afro. Apparently she was dying and those of us who were gathered in this boxed off section were to be the equal recipients of her money. Each of us had some “alone” time with her, I guess she wanted to know who she was giving her money to, but that one on one time was in that same area however, somehow, it was exclusive; we couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see us. Finally, it was my turn and sat on the bed next to her. She spoke softly, but I couldn’t make out anything she was saying. Her eyes were closed and I had the feeling she knew each person individually. I strained to hear what she was saying; I didn’t know if they were instructions or conditions for getting the money, or just incoherent babble. Then, with that knowledge you have in dreams sometimes, I knew the final words I heard her speak were directed mainly at me, words she hadn’t said to any of the other recipients. She said, “My eyes are the mirrors to your soul”. I knew that was incorrectly said, but as she said it, I was drawn to her as she added, “Look into my eyes.”. I leaned forward and could see her eyes had become two quarter-sized mirrors and just before I could peer into them, I woke up.

And then we had the nutty newts’ confused take on American Idol last night. But I think they managed alright.

We Interrupt This Blog

January 11, 2010

First of all, the Newark Airport security breacher, Haisong Jiang from Piscataway, NJ, a doctoral student at Rutgers University, was arrested Friday night and charged with defiant trespassing, for ducking under the security cordon to accompany his girlfriend to her flight. The defiant trespassing charge stems from when Jiang, after being asked by the security guard (as seen in the video) to move away from the secure area, (according to the article I read) returned there after the guard left his post. So, there, mystery solved. Right now it looks like Jiang will receive a “slap on the wrist” and a $500 fine. I think every one of the inconvenienced passengers that had to be rescreened during the 6 hour delay should have a whack at his wrist!

I think my cold is finally better. It’s still hanging on, I’m still all stuffed up, but I don’t feel a groggy and dragged out as I was feeling for the better part of last week.

This past weekend I got another review for “Mightier Than The Pen”.  It comes from a woman my father loaned his copy to who is in his Goldwing group. You can see it on the “reviews” page  under “The Novel” tab on my website. Also, for those of you new to my blog, the first chapter is also available in  “A Peek Inside” under the same tab.

Originally today was to be the start of the next chapter in the McGinty Chronicles, but time got away from me and I didn’t realize that tomorrow is the start of American Idol and I’m happy to report, taking the seat of the late Commander, who helmed the position of persnickety purveyor for two seasons, is  a brand new, 2-man team brought in to report on the shenanigans. They feel they’re qualified to take over such a momentous task.  You can meet them by clicking on their link button at the end of today’s blog.

Todays’a big day in NJ. Not only is the State House going to vote on in-state tuition fees for illegal aliens, but that seat belts must be worm by everyone in your car. And they’re hoping to pass a bill that would enforce the driver of a car to stop before hitting a pedestrian in a cross walk, as that is their “safety domain”, but also when encountering an errant jaywalker, the driver must also stop. But to be fair, the law will also state that a pedestrian can’t run into traffic. I would almost think that’s just common sense, but I guess not because we actually need a law against it. Hmm.

So, without fail, McGinty will start up again next week. I just didn’t want to give you so much to deal with on a Monday. In the meantime, let me introduce you to the new American Idol team. And spread the word, especially if anyone you tell is a literary agent or publisher or someone who knows one.