Saturday, February 6, 2016

Beezow Doo-Doo Zoppity Bop Bop Bop

Believe it or not, that's the name of a real person charged with two counts of first degree assault, third degree assault, third degree malicious mischief, and malicious harassment. Mr. Bop Bop Bop, born Jefferey Drew Wilschke, changed his name to reflect "the explosion of awareness of the interconnectedness of the infinite love in the universe" and "the struggle of our daily lives with that awareness, that with love comes chaos." (Wait,what?) In the past, the Bopmeister has been reported as homeless and schizophrenic. (No shitake, Sherlock!) An officer at Evergreen State College responded to a report that someone was tearing down fliers at the entrance to the school library when His Zoppityship led the officer on a chase.The officer was about to get The Beez' Knees to the ground but he tried to take the officer's gun. (Ruh-roh!) A Thurston County sheriff's deputy eventually tackled and apprehended Much Doo Doo About Nothing (Sorry,couldn't resist!) who now resides in Washington County Jail and awaits trial on September 17.

Boy, when the Bard asked, "What's in a name?', he never counted on THIS dude!

On a TOTALLY unrelated note, Stevie the Geek's Peerless Pigskin Prediction for Super Bowl 50: (So they didn't use the Roman number. So what the L!) CAROLINA by 20!

Have a Zupertiy Bop Bop Bop Super Bowl Sunday! (I STILL couldn't resist! Sorry!)

That will do it for now, friends, the blog is over. GO IN PEACE!
Steve

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

162 Hey, Didn't You Used To Be...

A funny thing (Funny odd, not funny ha-ha.) happened today as I was crossing 36th Street in Manhattan disguised as a mild-mannered messenger for a Great Metropolitan Messenger Company. I noticed a gentleman who looked VERY much like David Gregory, the former anchor of NBC's Meet The Press (Insert "If it's Wednesday..." joke here.), fill in for Don Imus after MSNBC and CBS Radio dumped him over the notorious comment concerning the Rutgers University women's basketball team, (This is a family blog.) White House correspondent, and source of controversy (interviews with Wayne LaPierre, President of the National Rifle Association, and independent journalist Glenn Greenwald) and I shouted, "David?" He smiled, "Hi." Don't know what he was doing on THIS side of the Amtrak to Newport News with stops in Secaucus, Newark, Princeton Junction, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and of course, Washington, but I'm sure it was something important. (Hope it was either mounting an independent presidential campaign or announcing that he was running as Mike Bloomberg's Vice President. What a ticket THAT would be!)

If you read IDOL TALK 1 in our sister blog Welcome To Steve Country, (http://welcometostevecountry.com ), you'll know that Kanye West and his unindicted Ko-Konspirator (whose name I will not mention because I know people are sick of her and her family,and I don't blame 'em) infiltrated the AMERICAN IDOL auditions. Well, he claims his new album, WAVES, will be the greatest album in the history of music. What about this thing called "Thriller" by a guy named Jackson? What about "Please Please Me" by four guys from Liverpool including this guy I saw in Albany?  What about "Tapestry" by this gal who has a musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theater?What about John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" and Dave Brubeck's "Time Out?" What about "Born To Run" by this guy from Jersey or "Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash?" What about "Pet Sounds" by The Beach Boys or "Come Dance With Me" by Frank Sinatra? This group operating on 65th Street called the Metropolitan Opera has also turned out some decent albums, what about them, or my CWPF Judy Collins who has knocked a few out of the park? Kanye, old buddy, old pal, you are NOT Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, or Beethoven, so, PLEASE keep that ego in check, OK?

I love country music, but I have a trainer, who I also love and who won't let me near Kentucky Fried Chicken, so, if there's anybody out there who's had their new Nashville Hot Chicken, shoot me an email at steveneisenpreis@gmail.com and I'll use the best review. (The best one will win a special custom made Steve's Blog No-Prize, retail value, PRICELESS!)

Speaking of food and country music, my new favorite country singer Tara Thompson, during her first professional visit to NYC, told a funny story about her first EVER visit here. She was here with her sister, and they couldn't leave without pizza, so they had pizza EVERY day, until she looked at the box...and recoiled in horror. She screamed, "WE HAVE SBARRO IN NASHVILLE!"
I would like to recommend a REAL New York pizzeria, which happens to be in my nabe of Murray Hill (25th and Third to be exact) called Rocky Slims. Zagat says it's a "welcome addition," but I'm sure you'll be too busy trying to talk with your mouth full to say anything. Visit http://www.rockyslims.com or call 212-889-4663, and mangia!


As a great rodent once said, "Seeya REAL soon!"
Steve out!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

161 The Snow, The Garden, And Other Things

First of all, I would like to say Howdy to the many Steve Country fans joining this fine blog, and I would like to address the issue of "New York Values."

As the Blizzard of '16 showed, the values New Yorkers exemplify most are persistence, respect (such as the kind we showed Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo when they told us in no uncertain terms to stay inside), charity (towards motorists stranded on the road and the 130 homeless who agreed to be sheltered) and resillience. (We're not going to let a silly little thing like a blizzard stop US from going back to work and school, are we?) BTW, in 1973, New York Mayor John Lindsay proclaimed Country Music Day in New York and praised the music for its patriotism, beauty, and realism, so don't let anybody, politician or pundit, tell you otherwise about New York Values, and, PLEASE, let that sleeping dog lie.

Speaking of the Blizzard of '16, although Washington got the brunt of it, Nashville and New York were equally walloped. Although the pictures of the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House covered in snow were undeniably beautiful, they were also the undeniable result of one of the worst storms since Hurricane Sandy's reign (rain?) of terror in 2012, which turned out to be the second biggest blizzard in New York history. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, if you're reading, could you PLEASE arrest Queen Elsa of Arendelle for crimes against the City of New York? (The reader is referred to the Disney movie FROZEN.) If it's any consolation, Spring is almost two months away.

Returning to the "New York Values" political football, (Almost speaking of which, congrats to the Alabama Crimson Tide for rolling over the Clemson Tigers and winning the College Football Playoffs (presented by AT&T) National Championship, and good luck to the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. Hope to see you guys at Super Bowl 50!) contrary to popular belief, we are NOT too jaded to enjoy a rootin' tootin' rip-snortin' time at the rodeo, such as the Professional Bull Riders' recent appearance at Madison Square Garden. If you haven't seen these guys, (First of all, WHY?) these are the most daring athletes on four hooves (each belonging to a bull), and each show has more excitement and danger than TEN Hollywood blockbusters put together.It's a little bit country ,a WHOLE lot of rock n'roll,and DEFINETLY NOT boring! Get ready, Nashville, 'cause these dudes are riding towards the Bridgestone Arena where they'll be on August 19-20. For tickets and live streams, lasso your mouse and click over to http://www.pbr.com . You can also check out the action on CBS Sports Network and the CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR on your local CBS station.(Before that, the NHL All-Star Game skates into the same arena next week, and you can get tix for THAT one at http://www.ticketmaster.com or check it out on NBC.)

I'd like to welcome new Steve Country citizens Brandy Clark (who co-wrote Miranda Lambert's megahit "Mama's Broken Heart" and has more than a few hits of her own) and Tara Thompson (a self-described "hillbilly" from Nashville who's getting her own career off the ground), both of whom were recently in the Big Apple as part of CMT's "Next Women of Country" tour. Thanks for your support, ladies, and welcome aboard! (I'm STILL waiting to hear from Kenny Rogers and Hillary and Charlie from Lady Antebellum. I know you're out there somewhere!)

Good luck to Blake Shelton as he hosts Nickelodeon's 2016 Kids' Choice Awards in March! Any friend of SpongeBob's...you know the rest.

Hate to end this on a downer, but my thoughts and prayers go out to Maite D., one of 190 Hollywood-bound American Idol contestants, who has a day job as a DJ in Anchorage, AK, which has been devastated by a 7.1 earthquake which has destroyed at least one home. Sing up a storm and stay safe,girlfriend!

I realize I haven't gotten around to my 2016 predictions, but you WILL get them, one way or the other, as well as another edition of IDOL TALK in the Steve Country blog, convienently located at http://www.welcometostevecountry.com .

Steve out!

Friday, January 1, 2016

156 Welcome Back, My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends...

Happy 2016, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome back to the flagship of the Steve's Blog line. Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Good Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, or a Wonderful Whatever. Our next pulse-pounding pulse will present my peerless predictions for the year to come, but first, how did you enjoy your holiday?


After I left you by naming Smiling Stan Lee, the nicest guy in comics, the nicest newsmaker of 2015 and ISIS the naughtiest, (and foisting a review of Judy Collins' excellent Metropolitan Museum concert upon an unsuspecting, but grateful, I hope,) populace I received a lot of great books for the holidays (and many of them will be reviewed in Steve's Book Blog within the coming weeks) and saw three of the new holiday movies that were NOT set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (I WILL get to that one while it's still new, trust me.)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP Jason Lee returns as Alvin, Simon, and Theodore's manager David Seville and informs the boys that he's been seeing a cute doctor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and that they (he and the doc) are flying to Miami and he's taking a ring with him. Don't put a ring on this one, stick with either DVD's of the original 60's cartoon or DVD's of the 80's reboot. (SPOILER ALERT: In a sappy effort to keep the franchise relevant, Dave adopts the boys.)

CREED To get ready for my upcoming trip to Philadelphia (for America's Big Two-Four-Oh on July 4th, natch.), I saw this absorbing drama continuing the adventures of a Philly institution, Rocky Balboa, played by the one and only Sylvester Stallone. In this knockout, Rock befriends the son of his friend and one-time opponent, Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan (no relation to His Airness, although he wears Emjay's logo on his hoodie), and accompanies him to Liverpool as they face their greatest possible challenge, and no, no surviving Beatles were harmed in the making of this motion picture! Phylicia Rashad also delivers a heavyweight performance as young (Adonis) Creed's mom. Look for cameos from ESPN's PTI guys Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. (Lovin' you, boys, but don't quit your day jobs!)

DADDY'S HOME Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Without giving any of the story away, that's the moral of this heartwarming, hilarious, and just a LITTLE raunchy dramedy starring Will Ferrell as a step-dad to two kids who barely tolerate him and Mark Wahlberg as their natural dad. Linda Cardellini does a great job as the mom/referee in this duel of the dads, and Hamilton Burress also turns in a great comic performance as an Angie's List handyman who gets caught up in this intra-family feud. Will Ferrell stays classy in this one!

Join us next time for our peerless predictions, and DO stop by Steve Country for the acceptance speeches for the Stevie Awards and some other great stuff.

Happy New Year!

Steve out!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

155 Santa Steve's Nice List

PREVIOUSLY IN STEVE'S BLOG, we counted down the Top 10 Naughtiest Newsmakers of 2015:

10. SESAME STREET
9    THE DESNUDAS (NAKED WOMEN)
8.   THE BRONX BUMMER
7.   BAD SANTA
6.   THE HOUSTON ASTROS
5.   DR. BEN CARSON
4.   DONALD TRUMP
3.   WICKED CITY
2.   BILL DEBLASIO
1.   ISIS

And the countdown continues...

10. NINA'S WORLD

This original animated series from NBC Universal's Sprout Channel teaches kids (Sproutlets) about the world around them, adjusting to people of different cultures, and even American Sign Language! Kudos to Nina herself (from the Good Night Show also on Sprout), Michele Lepe, Isabelle Ferriter who plays young Nina, the star of the show (Sorry, Star, Nina's talking pillow and best friend!), Rita Moreno who voices Nina's Abuelita (Granny) Yolie, Mandy Patinkin who plays her papi (I STILL can't shake, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. PREPARE TO DIE."), and Esai Morales who gives voice to her music-making uncle. Visit http://www.sproutonline.com to find out how to make NINA'S WORLD part of your kids' world!

9. THE MUPPETS

Kermit, Miss Piggy, Dr. Teeth and all your favorite furry and fuzzy friends star on this new ABC comedy for the whole family, and adults who grew up on THE MUPPET SHOW in particular!

8. BINDI IRWIN

Good on ya, Sheila, for winning DANCING WITH THE STARS! I bet Steve, your old man, is smiling down from Heaven!

7. LAURA BENANTI

This West Sider has played an internet billionaire in the Radio City Spring Spectacular and tons of characters on SUPERGIRL, THE GOOD WIFE, LAW & ORDER :SVU, THE PLAYBOY CLUB, and other shows and she STILL finds time to emcee the Lincoln Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony! Now THAT'S a Santa's Helper!

6. NOAH SYNDEGARD

The Mets' thunder god was the closest thing New York had to a real life super hero! ( So we didn't win the Series. Hey, we tried!)

5. KENNY ROGERS

The Gambler knows when to walk away, and he leaves behind a winning hand of great music and memories!

4. MARISSA BENOIST (SUPERGIRL)

The latest in a long line of performers to don the famous Big Red S, not only does she make you believe a girl can fly, she also makes you feel like flying with her uplifting performance!

3. ROWDY RODDY PIPER

He may have played a bad guy in the WWE, but he was one of the nicest grunt-and-groaners I have had the pleasure to meet.

2. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

LIVE FROM NEW YORK, it's a 40-year old comedy institution that has introduced comedians from Gilda Radner to Adam Sandler and characters from the Coneheads and Wayne and Garth to Opera Man and (one of my all-time favorites, for obvious reasons) nightclub expert Stefon. As long as there are easy targets, and as long as people want to laugh, SNL will never go out of style.

Before we put the crown on the head of this year's nicest newsmaker, a special HONORABLE MENTION
goes to a nice lady who left us this past year, the one and only LISA COLAGROSSI. As mentioned in this blog, she was a broadcast journalist in many important markets, particularly here in New York where she did her best work for ABC 7 EYEWITNESS NEWS. She was a hard-working reporter who never let anything get in her way, until she was felled by a brain anyuerism.She was also a loyal Ranger fan with goalie Henrik Lundquist her special favorite as well as a proud hockey mom. In recognition of everything she did on Earth. this blog donates $7 to Lisa's Legacy.

And now, we're up to the nicest newsmaker of the year, and the story of a man who convinced the world that even the most powerful heroes in the universe are only human. When 16-and-a-half year-old Stanley Martin Lieber went to work for Timely Comics in 1939, he was a fan of Robin Hood and King Arthur and he aspired to write the Great American Novel. He was a jack-of-all-trades performing menial tasks for his boss Joe Simon and publisher Martin Goodman until seventy-five years ago this coming year when he wrote his first original story, "Captain America Foils The Traitor's Revenge," which starred the patriotic super hero
created by Simon and artist Jack Kirby.(CAPTAIN AMERICA v.1 #3, May 1941) and was written under the pen name Stan Lee. Stan also wrote under the names Neel Nats and S.T. Anley because he didn't want Stanley Martin Lieber to squander his reputation on funny books for little kids. Stan would later create HEADLINE HUNTER, ROVING REPORTER and his first super hero creation, THE DESTROYER. When the Second Great War broke out, Stan served in the Signal Corps before writing training films for the Army. Stan returned to what had become Atlas Comics in the 50's where he worked on an adaptation of  the Marie Wilson series MY FRIEND IRMA among others. Stan almost left the business to write the Great American Novel until Julius Schwartz at rival DC Comics created what would be known as the Silver Age of Heroes with revitalized versions of heroes such as the Flash and Green Lantern and a new super hero squad, the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

Stan had been dissatisfied with the then-current state of super heroes, perfect people who could do no wrong, often accompanied by painfully cute teenage sidekicks. Inspired by the JLA, he and Jack Kirby created a team of completely different super heroes. The leader, Reed Richards, was the plastic-skinned Mr. Fantastic, his fiance Susan Storm was the Invisible Girl, her hotly-tempered kid brother Johnny was the Human Torch, (the first character to bear that name since the Second Great War when the original Torch fought, and fought alongside, the Sub-Mariner) and Reed's best friend Ben Grimm was the mighty muscled Thing. Together they were the FANTASTIC FOUR, and their new and realistic stories created a following among college audiences. In time, Stan introduced the INCREDIBLE HULK, a green-skinned powerhouse who was actually a brilliant scientist who saved a reckless teenager only to be belted by his own gamma rays, the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, another reckless teenager who learned that with great power there must also come even greater responsibility, the MIGHTY THOR, God of Thunder, and two more legendary super teams, the X-MEN and the AVENGERS. No doubt about it, the Marvel Age of Comics had begun, and wouldn't abate when Stan was promoted from writer/editor to publisher. Stan's unique style had inspired new generations of writers, in the comics and other media. Stan continued to play an active role in the day-to-day operations of Marvel until 1998 when he founded his own company, Stan Lee Media. Unfortunately,
SLM ended in tragedy due to stock manipulation from partners Stan THOUGHT he could trust.

Today, with super heroic strength, Stan continues to work as the co-president of his new company POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment, his new Kids Universe imprint for 1821 Comics, and of course, his cameo appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Through it all, Stan has never forgotten the great responsibility that comes with great power, and he continues to be a fixture at comic cons from Maine to Mexico and an influence on generations to come. It could be said that he, alone, creates more fascinating treasures than Santa and his elves combined. Naturally...(Drumroll, please.)

!. STAN LEE

Stan The Man Lee is our Number One Nicest Newsmaker of the Year in advance commemoration of the 75th anniversary of his first published comics story. Stan, in recognition of your work, this blog will donate $19.41 to The Stan Lee Foundation, and we can think of no better way to end than with the word you helped popularize, a word which means "Onward and Upward":  EXCELSIOR.

And there you have 'em. The 10 Naughtiest and Nicest Newsmakers for the year ending December 1,2015.We would like to thank longtime friends of this blog, Nicole Vranzanian, Chelsea Duffy and Gretchen Muller, OF COURSE, Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, Alice Steinberg, Scott Shannon, Patty Steele,Todd Pettengill, Jayde Donovan, Joe Pardavila, and the cast of SONGBIRD whose "acceptance speech" will be featured prominently in our first WELCOME TO STEVE COUNTRY blog of 2016. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't thank all our readers around the world, many of whom serve our country in the defense of freedom. Until January 2016, when once again we will cover the world from our own unique perspective, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
HAPPY HANNUKAH!
GOOD KWANZAA!

Steve out!

Monday, November 30, 2015

154 Santa Steve's Naughty List

Hello everybody, and welcome to Santa Steve's Naughty List, the first of two year-end specials that count down the best and worst newsmakers of 2015. Last year, ISIS received the lump of coal, retired Yankee skipper Derek Jeter scored a charitable contribution to his Turn 2 Foundation, and we honored the memory, music and magic of the one and only Casey Kasem. Who has a Happy Holiday and who wins the pleasure (?) of a visit from a certain Mr. Krampus (an anthropomorphic horned figure who punishes children during the Christmas season as opposed to old St. Nick) this year? There's only one way to find out: Line 'em up and count 'em down!

DISHONORABLE MENTION Me

Yep, I messed up Big Time again! This time, I forgot the following Stevie Awards for Awesomeness In Country Music from the first annual ceremony at http://www.welcometostevecountry.com :

LEGEND AWARD 650 AM WSM Nashville THE country music radio station!

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR NASH FM 94.7 WNSH New York  NOW New York has everything!

AIR PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR AMERICA'S MORNING SHOW NASH FM 94.7 and other stations, with Blair Garner, Charlie Wicks, Erika Grace Powell and Robin Meade If you HAVE to go to work and you WANT to listen to great country music, this is your show!

OK, now that I've recognized EVERYTHING good in Country Nation, it's time to count down the ten worst in the headlines of 2015

10. SESAME STREET

My, have the mighty have fallen! Last year, this pioneering educational kidvid show checked in at Number 3 on the Nice List, but this year, Big Bird, Elmo, and the rest of the gang fall all the way down to Number 10 on the Naughty List for moving to HBO effective January 16. This show was originally created to serve the needs of disadvantaged urban kids, but now it's moving to the home of Carrie Bradshaw, Tony Soprano, Jon Snow, and a host of other characters nobody I know would want hanging around their kids. If you hear a rumbling below Sesame Street, it's Mr. Hooper spinning in his grave!

9. THE DESNUDAS (NAKED WOMEN)

As if the Filthy Animals of Times Square weren't filthy enough, along comes a group of women with everything those showgirls in Vegas have except TOPS! I like sitting in front of the Times Square Studios and watching the world go by as much as the next guy, but, ladies, could you PLEASE put on some clothes?

AND NOW, THE BUMS WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS

8. THE BRONX BUMMER

What would Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, New York's original Little Italy, be without its annual Christmas party, complete with beautiful Christmas tree? They're finding out right now, thanks to increased security over a precipitous spike in the homeless population. The homeless have been using the area as their hotel, and needless to say, the locals ARE not having a holly jolly Christmas.

7. BAD SANTA

Will the real Santa Claus please stand up? According to Macy*s, he's actually sitting down in his red velvet seat in Santaland while a soulless impostor demands $5 from disillusioned Yuletide revelers. Not even his fellow Filthy Animals think this St.Nick got the memo about the spirit of giving!

6. THE HOUSTON ASTROS

They were too good for the C.C. Sabathia-less New York Yankees who fell to them 3-0 in a one-game playoff. At least the Mets made it as far as the Series!

5. DR. BEN CARSON

He only opens his mouth to change feet!

4. DONALD J. TRUMP

He's also made a lot of gaffes this year, but poking fun at a handicapped New York Times reporter? If you hear a pack of groaning camels, it was because that was the straw that broke ALL their backs!

3. WICKED CITY

A wicked bad excuse for a TV drama!

2. BILL DEBLASIO

Where to start? Not stepping up to the plate on the homeless problem, flying off to Iowa instead of focusing on New York, closing down Manhattan while Boston got the brunt of January's blizzard, I'm thinking of throwing my hat in the ring next election! (Hey, ANYBODY could do a better job!)

AND OUR DEFENDING CHAMPION:

ISIS

What they did in Paris and to that Egyptian airliner is totally unacceptable. We should go right in and kick their you know whats!

Now that you know who gets our lump of coal, who gets a special gift? The answer awaits later this week!

Steve out!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

153 MISS The Hunger Games:Mockingjay, Part 2, And The Odds Will Be In Your Favor

Anybody knows me that I respect movies too much to want to SMASH the director in the nose and HIT the entire cast where the sun don't shine, but that's how I felt about the two and a half hours I'll never get back called THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2. (And don't DARE edit this to say I thought it was a SMASH HIT!)

It was too loud, too pretentious, too incoherent to be taken seriously. Jennifer Lawrence is free forever of Katniss Everdeen, the Girl On Fire, the superstar turned rebel, and I can't say I blame her if she's, to borrow a line from Donna Fargo, an all-but forgotten country star of the 70's (Check out our sister blog, WELCOME TO STEVE COUNTRY, for a preview of must-see country TV. PLUG!) the happiest girl in the whole USA. Julianne Moore plays a rebel leader who recruits Katniss and her buds to rub out President Snow. (Donald Sutherland, who MUST miss the days when he had better parts.) SPOILER ALERT: Both the rebel president and Snowman get offed by Katniss. I understand why Sara Stewart of the New York Post gave this sorry excuse for a movie a scathing indictment.

If I were down to my last and I could buy either a ticket to MOCKINGJAY or a sandwich, I'd buy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings! (I know, it's a little bit convoluted, but then, so's this movie!)

See you before the Thanksgiving holiday, buckaroos and buckarettes!

Steve out!