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Archive for September, 2009

In ABC’s new Wednesday evening Fall offering, “Cougar Town,” Courteney Cox plays a recently-divorced forty-something who decides to hit the jungle trail. Almost before we can say “sex” she latches onto a handsome stud and hauls him off to her pad.

That’s it. That’s the whole story encapsulated in the 30-minute pilot. Will this show last? Only if the audience likes the odd mix of sex between young and old with no apparent purpose other than watching Courteney under an undulating sheet with a new cookie-cutter stud every week

Don’t get me wrong. Forty-five year old Courteney is built like the proverbial outhouse. Either that or she had a hell of a body double and a pixel mechanic capable of placing Courteney’s head atop the body of the body double.

On balance, however, and after a little logical reflection, I’m willing to give Courteney the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the sterling condition of her aging bod. On a scale of one to ten, she deserves an eight in my playbook.

The problem in the pilot wasn’t her physical shape but her overacting. The word seems an apt summarization of her gesturing and other nonverbal histrionics, which might bring her stardom if silent films are resurrected.

Pending that unlikely occurrence, however, she might profit from observing real cougars in action. As a civic-minded critic, I’m offering a link to the hottest cougar hangouts in San Francisco.

And if Courteney needs a guide, my services are available free of charge. In fact, I can be cougar-ed myself. I’m in the Yellow Pages under Cougar Treks.

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We parked on Valencia just around the corner from 24th Street. The four of us walked across 24th for a bite of lunch in a corner café, which was almost empty at that time of the afternoon. The waitress was a nice young girl who seated us promptly and then left us to review the menu of exotic goodies ala San Francisco.

I opted for the 24 hour breakfast…two eggs, scrambled, crispy bacon, like, snap, sourdough toast, and coffee. It was good, the best the city had to offer.

My companions ordered…what?…I don’t remember. But they all raved about the food and complimented the waitress who beamed.

Following our meal, my buddy and I stepped outside while the women fought each other over the check. I leaned against the door jamb and watched a female police officer walk across the street toward us and get in an SFPD patrol car. She eyed me up and down and I smiled at her.

Across the street, we spotted a place called Holey Bagel. It turned out to be a bagel shop. We reversed our course and walked back toward Valencia. On the other side of the intersection, we spotted a guy unloading beer and booze from a truck. We decided to check it out. Turns out the guy was stocking the Dubliner in preparation for the evening’s usual festivities.

By now, the girls had settled the bill and left a chintzy tip. We decided to head for the Marin Headlands and after that, finish our day with a drive across the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge.

My buddy unlocked the car doors and like the gentlemen we are, we opened the doors for the women and saw them safely ensconced before we took our own seats.

Just then, I spotted a woman walking toward us. She was tall and had a haughty air about her. But she was beautiful. San Francisco beautiful. Not one of your stringy haired bottle blondes, but a dark-haired beauty with long legs carrying her confidently past us and onto 24th Street. I had visions of the Maltese Falcon strapped to one of those legs.

Before I closed the car door, I did a double take. My head swiveled around in an effort to check out her…um…aspects. She was perfectly proportioned all around. I followed her with my eyes until she disappeared and I thought about jumping out and asking her if she could direct us to the zoo or something.

By now, my buddy had noticed my body facing forward and my head to the rear. He began to chuckle and didn’t let up for the balance of our tour.

A couple of weeks have passed and I still can’t get 24th Street out of my mind. I intend to return as soon as I can and spend more time there.

Those were the best damned scrambled eggs I’ve ever tasted.

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A major recurring theme in the expected gubernatorial primary between Democratic contestants Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown will be the new versus the old. The lines are already forming, as evidenced by the following statement to Politico by Newsom’s political strategist, Garry South.

The contrast [between Newsom and Brown] is obvious. If you want new leadership and you want a fresh face, Jerry Brown is not your guy,” said Garry South, a Newsom strategist. “Will that argument be effective with every voter? Of course not. But will it be enough for us to win? Yes.

Most observers agree that the strategy will be effective in some limited sense. However, Newsom hasn’t been tested beyond the boundaries of San Francisco. Thus, whether the strategy will carry Newsom to statewide victory remains to be seen.

Moreover, Newsom trails Brown in the all-important electoral category of money. Dollars win elections, and no one knows the reality of that better than Garry South. In fact, he has managed to snare one of the Democratic Party’s top fund raisers, former President Bill Clinton, who remains highly popular on the national and world stages. If Clinton performs as expected, he will undoubtedly pump some funds into Newsom’s coffers.

But the South strategy contains within it an inherent contradiction. On the one hand, South holds Newsom up as the bright and shining beacon of a New California. On the other hand, he calls in a shining example of old-time Southern and East Coast politics.

Clinton has been around a long time. He was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976 and Governor of Arkansas in 1978, a post he held until 1981. He became President in 1993, holding that office until 2001.

Since then, largely behind the scenes, he has helped advance the career of his wife, Hillary Clinton, assisting her in her campaign to win a Senate seat from the State of New York and more recently an appointment as Obama’s Secretary of State. This is hardly the record of a new generation.

Clinton also brings with him a record of marital infidelity, which will undoubtedly become a matter of discussion during the primary election campaign. The most notable example of his moral lapses is the Monica Lewinsky incident, leading to his impeachment and, as far as I know, the publication and worldwide distribution of the only pornographic report by a Special Prosecutor in the history of this country. Kenneth Starr’s report has undoubtedly been scrutinized by the Brown camp for usable ammunition should the need arise.

Despite his old-establishment power structure ties and his unsavory personal history, Clinton seems highly popular among some segments of California’s voting population, notably Latinos, and his presence as a Newsom supporter will carry a good deal of weight in the Hispanic community.

Clinton is also a classic political carpetbagger. Aside from a few forays into California to raise funds, he knows little if anything of California’s people, customs, habits, politics, or economics. That fact will also produce some ripe areas for exploitation by the Brown camp.

On balance, Clinton’s presence on Newsom’s side may yield some positive results. But the overall effects will probably be less than expected. An alert Newsom strategist would develop a script to explain how Newsom campaigns as a new-age King Arthur while at the same time calling on the help of the most seasoned and old-time politician around today. And a carpetbagger at that.

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I’ll be moving on in a couple of days, leaving Maryland for Little Rock and from there to Oakland CA. I’ll miss MD and all of its tourist attractions, places like many Civil War battlefields, state and national wild horse preserves along the Atlantic, and, of course, Washington, D.C., a quick drive away with all of its past and present political signs and symbols that draw millions of visitors from around the world.

What will I do in Little Rock? Well, I won’t be staying in the city. I’ll land there on a Southwest Airlines flight out of Baltimore and immediately head for Hot Springs for a few days with a cousin. I expect to see a few sights, and I expect to tour a rice growing area on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River Delta where the rice harvest will be underway. Arkansas is one of the nation’s leading rice growing states, ranking right up there with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and California.

I may also visit my cousin’s fifth-grade class. Kids at that age are still, as we used to say, bright eyed and bushy tailed. They are inquisitive creatures with eyes not yet worldly wise and jaded, eager for information and still somewhat respectful of their teachers and other adults. What will I tell those kids if they ask me questions? One thing I will not say is a negative word about anything. Some of them are probably the products of dysfunctional families and the last thing they will need is more negativity. I’ll probably restrict my classroom visit to covering topics about Maryland and Hawaii, accompanied by pictures, which illustrate the beauty of the Aloha State and the wild horses in Maryland. Such beautiful creatures! Every child ought to have an opportunity to see those magnificent animals up close.

My visit to AR will be short, and I’ll be off to Oakland in a few days. Once in the Bay Area, I’ll see my two sisters and a host of nieces and nephews. Will I set foot in San Francisco? I can’t say at this moment. True, I’d like to take a walk through City Hall and scope out the pols. I’d also like to prowl the area around Union Square, hoping to catch sight of a local celebrity or two. But my itinerary depends on my sisters. We will undoubtedly drive around some of the neighborhoods we lived in as kids and reminisce. There is a time for reminiscing and a time for politicians. I’ll think about the latter later.

From Oakland, I’ll return to Hawaii where I will settle some affairs remaining after the loss of my beloved. One of my major decisions will be the question of selling the house and living elsewhere. Should I or should I not? That is the question I’ve been thinking about on my trip. Texas? Maybe. Maryland? Maybe. Arkansas? No. California? Maybe. I know the state inside out and have relatives in both Northern and Southern Cal. Plus, I have a good buddy living in San Francisco who has invited me to share his pad. Tempting, but still, there’s an element of uncertainty in my mind, as if I’m missing something but can’t put my finger on it. I have a hunch I’ll resolve the issue soon. ‘Til then, as the Mills Brothers used to croon in perfect harmony, I’ll just hang around.

Ending with a pathetic imitation of author Alexandra Jones

The earth is old they say,
which no one denies.
They merely murder
one another
over the numbers.

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As a general rule, I ignore America’s lunatic fringe. To me, conspiracy theorists of both the right and left are humorous in a silly sort of way. If nothing else, they illustrate the ease with which many Americans glom onto the most outrageously unbelievable stories.

The birthers are merely the latest in a long line of loonies who have attached themselves to Barack Obama. They claim that Barack is not “a natural born citizen” of the U.S. and hence unqualified to hold the Office of President of he United States.

So far, the birthers have pigheadedly refused to consider the reality, preferring instead to ignore logic and facts. One wonders, in the face of this blindness, if there is anything under the sun that would convince the birthers of Obama’s legitimacy.

This is the question I pondered last night, and this is my answer: they are actually too stupid to understand the world around them. Even if the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Obama is a natural born citizen of the U.S. the birthers would find something in the Court’s wording on which to hang their irrational disbelief.

So, let’s play the challenge game. Let’s assume that the Court has legitimized Obama’s birth status. He is a “natural born citizen,” no ifs ands or buts. What reasons might the birthers concoct to deny or defy the Court’s ruling? Here are five that occurred to me.

1. Obama threatened to withhold the pension of any Justice who ruled against him.

2. Obama warned the Court that he would issue an advance care directive, prohibiting any and all medical practitioners, institutions, and health insurers, plus any and all patriotic Americans, from henceforth ever and always assisting any Justice ruling against Obama from receiving any medical assistance whatsoever, including but not limited to the application of Band-Aids and salves and potions of any kind.

3. As a clear signal of the possible consequences of an anti-Obama ruling, Obama ordered the construction of new Supreme Court offices in Death Valley, California, in which said buildings shall have no air conditioning.

4. Obama prepared preliminary orders to revoke the citizenship of the Justices, making them ineligible to serve on the Court.

5. Obama warned the Court of the side effects of a rapid withdrawal of erectile dysfunction medications.

Okay, what are your thoughts? Do you have any other possible birther responses to a Supreme Court ruling that Obama is in fact a “natural born citizen of the United States?”

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