Wednesday, January 11, 2017

True Blue To The End

I may get in trouble for saying it, but it IS true: Blue Lives Matter. I would like to talk about one of those lives, that of NYPD Officer Steven McDonald, who famously forgave the cowardly gunman who left him paralyzed from the neck down. He had been on life support since mucus clogged his respirator,sending him into cardiac arrest on Friday, January 6, and last Tuesday, he died at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island. We had many things in common, other than the obvious first name: We were born roughly around the same time, (He was born in 1957 and I was born in 1958.) we loved New York, and we loved the New York Rangers, who, like the NYPD, are famous for their distinctive blue uniforms. He inspired the Rangers' "Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award," and asked nothing less than extra effort from children when it came to saying no to drugs and other bad influences.

Steven was a real life super hero, overcoming his handicap to serve New York's Finest as a detective, travel to Bosnia and the Middle East, and meet with South African President Nelson Mandela and the late Pope John Paul II, among others. He represented everything good about the NYPD, and, to a larger extent, New York City and America. As a loyal Blueshirt fan, I can imagine Officer McDonald is having a nice talk up in Heaven with another long-suffering Ranger supporter, my friend Ceil Saidel, a past president and long-time member of the Rangers Fan Club, who, tragically, was shot by a robber in her apartment building. No doubt they have a LOT of catching up to do!

Officer Steven McDonald leaves behind a wife, Patti Ann, a son, Conor,thousands of police officers and school children who looked to him as a role model, and two cities, the Big Apple, and a city-within-a-city called Rangerstown, all of which are paralyzed by sadness. Heart attacks do not discriminate, they can take any life, regardless of race, religion or national origin. What made  this one even more terrible was that it decided to take Officer McDonald, who, unlike another famous Ranger, did not wear a mask or ride a great silver stallion, but was as committed to justice as that one. (Like another famous Ranger,goalie Henrik Lundquist, he DID make a lot of saves for New York, and for that we are all grateful.)

A wake will be held Wednesday and Thursday at St. Agnes Church, Rockville Center, Long Island, and a funeral mass will be held Friday at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in New York at 9:30 AM EST.

Happy Trails, Buckaroo.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016, You're Fired!

Happy New Year to all my readers around the world, and my apologies for forgetting the Naughty and Nice Lists and the Stevie Awards (our recognition of the best in country music), but I do hereby resolve to make it up to you as I see fit. (I know, I know, New Year's resolutions are made to be broken, but THIS one will definitely stick!)

At least I didn't make a fool out of myself on worldwide TV like Mariah Carey. You guys see this? If not, you didn't miss a thing. Anywho, she was the headliner on ABC's DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE STARRING RYAN SEACREST, and she was supposed to lip sync to her classic "Emotions," but instead, she made small talk with the "himbos" who were supposed to escort her while she was lip syncing, messing with her hair and jewelry, and calling out the production team who she would later claim diabolically sabotaged her performance. Here she was, the mistress of the seven octave range, standing in Times Square, the Crossroads of the World, looking like the world's biggest dork in a see-through outfit. She once said she had a certain DJ in mind when she wrote her first ever Top 40 hit, "Vision of Love," and then asked jokingly, "Or was that 'Vision of Food Poisoning?" At first I thought Mimi (as she calls herself) was the former, but this travesty of a performance made her seem more like the latter.

On a more positive note...


One of the President-Elect's many frenemies, the lovely and talented Megyn Kelly, is jumping the sinking S.S. FOX NEWS for the good ship NBC NEWS, where she will host a Sunday evening news program that will give 60 MINUTES  the competition it so desperately needs, anchor a daytime talk show similar to THE KELLY FILES, and cover breaking news, and by "news," I mean REAL NEWS, not the Trump-boosting rabble rousing that has become a trademark of the so-called "Fair and Balanced" network. She reports, she decided, and 2017 is looking better already!


As many of you may remember, I started a blog dedicated to all things boxing, wrestling, and MMA, and I PROMISE, I will get back to it in the year to come, but for now, I would like to address the World Series of Fighting's maiden voyage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve 2016. While WSOF doesn't have the big names like Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk or Conor MacGregor, it DOES live up to its name by boasting a stable of fighters from all over, but, to be perfectly honest, it COULD have benefited from the over-the-top theatrics of WWE, for while there were a lot of Broadway-caliber performances, there were also a lot of boring matches that would look better in MMA's version of the straw hat circuit. Also, the St. Knicks played their first Christmas game in a year, but the Celtics left a YUGE lump of coal in their stocking, and on the official New Year's day off, the Magic made them disappear! (Any bets that the (National Basketball) Association will revoke their Christmas game NEXT year?)


What on Earth were one of the stars and two of the creators of the funny (and edgy) IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA thinking when they decided to foist the very UN-funny (and over-the-edgy, if that's a thing) THE MICK on an unsuspecting public? For those of you fortunate to have missed the first two episodes on FOX, the series concerns Mackenzie "Mickey" Murphy (Kaitlin Olsen, who should know better), who, pardon my language, is a slut, for want of a better word, who moves to Greenwich, CT to care for the spoiled kids of her sister who flees to Mexico to avoid indictment. Flee to another network, and DON'T M-I-C THIS mickey-mouse show AT ALL! In other showbiz news, Disney's(I love THEIR Mick!) MOANA, with its Lin-Manuel Miranda score, great voices, and empowering story, and Illumination's SING, with its own powerhouse cast led by Matthew McConaghey as all-but-washed-up theatrical producer Buster Moon and a musical menu from Sinatra to Swift, are VERY animated hits for the young and young at heart alike and WAY better than watching the sick MICK!


Before I talk about my progress with my diet, I would like to stress that it doesn't REALLY matter how much you weigh, as long as you have a pleasing personality...that's 26 pounds thinner, which is exactly how much I've lost since I started Jenny Craig back in October! A few pounds from now, I officially go on maintainence, and I have the option to lose a few more Elby's (That used to be a Big Boy franchise I had the pleasure of visiting in Wilkes-Barre, PA when I was a little baby blogger.) if I so choose. I even told Santa Claus about it, and I just hope Mrs. C doesn't own a computer or other device because he told me he was trying to work off all that milk and cookies! Goodbye, old fat me! We WON'T meet again!


Farewell, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. I hope you wow them with your mother-daughter act up in Heaven.

That's all for now, but, once again, have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, pray for the brave men and women protecting our freedom overseas and on our streets at home, keep the Founding Fathers' dream of freedom alive, AND...


Monday, December 12, 2016

"All I Want For Christmas Is World Peace"-Timbuk 3

First of all, I would like to apologize to the spirit of Casey Kasem, For the past two Christmases, I've been keeping his memory alive by counting down the naughtiest and nicest newsmakers of the past year by sharing information about those newsmakers in the good-natured style that was his trademark for nearly five decades, but, as I mentioned in my last blog, the events of the past year have made it impossible. When President-Elect Trump called TODAY after he was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year, he denied any responsibility for the division that has struck this country. Since he won, maybe "stole" is a better word, the Presidential Election of 2016, there have been incidents of protests against our uniformed officers, random shootings, attacks on people trying to stay true to their faith, even people walking up to people who are just doing their job, be it delivering food or packages or reporting news, and whispering something in their ear which is definitely NOT sweet nothings. (It could be something as comparatively benign as "stupid" or an F-bomb.) 

This is supposed to be not only the season to be jolly, but also the season of Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Man. Contrary to popular belief, this is not unique to Christianity, but it is also one of the tenets of ALL religions, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or Humphrey Bogart's birthday. We recently marked the 75th Anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and the irony of it was that it was so close to those holidays that pray for the day when we all stand together as one. (Even John Lennon, who believed God was a concept by which we measured our pain, sang of the day when we were all united. Personally, I prefer Cee-Lo Green's version, "All religion's true.", but that's just me.) By his actions, Donald Trump is making Peace On Earth an even more unattainable ideal. 

Don't get me wrong, it's still the season to be jolly, so celebrate with those you love, but when you get a minute, use it to pray, whether to Adonai, Jesus, or Allah, for a world where people are not judged by what they wear on their head, their uniform, or profession, but, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, "the content of their character."  Peace On Earth does not have to be only a dream. No one man can truly Make America Great Again. First of all, America is already great because of those who challenge the status quo and share their ideas with the rest of the world, from the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Secondly, and I know that this point has been made a million times, but hear me out, people are like snowflakes in that no two are 100% alike. (Since 9/11, I have been guilty of sizing up Muslims too quickly, especially when they take notes before boarding a New York City subway. TRUE STORY!) 

Right after 9/11, we proved to the world that we can truly be "one nation under God", but these days we've seemed to forget it. Well, we should remember it a little better. We should stop saying nasty things to people and return to the good old days when we used to say Hi, Hello, or "Nice day, isn't it?" 

Hillary Clinton would have been the right person to guarantee Peace On Earth as our POTUS, and, at this time, we need a motherly presence like that of the late, great Florence Henderson, or, as the world knew her, Carol Brady, so we nominate them the two Nicest Newsmakers of 2016, and we will make a 50-50 donation (Total $100) to the Garden of Dreams Foundation (The Madison Square Garden's non-profit organization benefiting New York City children facing obstacles such as homelessness) in each of their names.

Happy Holidays, and remember, by Peace On Earth, we mean ALL the Earth, and Goodwill Toward ALL Men and Women.

We'll back in 2017 with another pulse-pounding, sense-shattering Steve's Blog, but, in the meantime, stay tuned for the Second Annual Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music in Welcome To Steve Country and a few surprises in Steve's Book Blog and In The Ring With Steve as well as a Steve Special that will knock you for a loop! (You never know what I'm going to say next! And neither do I!)

I WILL honor Casey by ending this blog the way he ended his many radio and TV shows: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!"

For now, friends, the blog is over! Go in PEACE!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Merry Christmas, Mr. President-Elect, Ya Filthy Animal!

Two movies that have become Christmas traditions are the first two HOME ALONE movies, starring McCauley Caulkin as Kevin McAllister, a resourceful young boy who has this peculiar habit of being left behind on Christmas family vacations. The movie I would like to discuss is HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (1992). As the movie opens, our Chicago-based hero is about to leave the Windy City for Christmas holiday in (OF ALL PLACES!) Miami with his family. His dad trusts him with his flight bag which includes his credit cards and a lot of cash, but as the plane begins to leave O'Hare International, Kev gets left behind and makes a mad dash for a plane which, like the one his folks and siblings are on, is American Airlines, but UNLIKE the McAllister family plane, is BOUND FOR NEW YORK! Recalling a coattail (a promotional consideration ad) for The Plaza, "New York's Most Exciting Hotel Experience!", he reserves a suite using Dad's credit card and creates the illusion that Dad is in town for a convention. Suffice it to say that Kev goes on to meet up again with the "Wet Bandits" (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) from the first movie, have a beautiful encounter with a bird woman (Brenda Fricker) who tells him of her love for Carnegie Hall, and get a present from a kindly old toymaker played by Eddie Bracken, but he also has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it meeting with the then-owner of the Plaza, a certain Mr. Donald John Trump who gives him directions. IRL (or, In Real Life for the social media challenged), the Donald bought the Plaza in 1988 and installed his wife Ivana as Chief Operating Officer, but in November of the year HOME ALONE 2 was released, he sold half of the hotel to a banking group led by Citibank as a prepackaged bankruptcy. With this bankruptcy, and so many other bankruptcies on his permanent record, it begs the question: How can he run the country successfully if he can't run a business successfully? I AM going to give him a chance for the first one hundred days, but still.

The highlight of HOME ALONE 2 happens when the hotel staff finds out Kevin has paid for his hotel room with a stolen credit card and the family flies to New York to set things right. Kevin has taped the sequel to his favorite (spoof) gangster movie, "Angels With Filthier Souls," and, with the help of his trusty Talkboy, (a tape recorder created by John Hughes and Tiger Electronics for the movie before it was made available to the general public), orders the ready-to-evict-him staff to kneel down and tell him they love him. They comply, and his tape recorder says, "I believe you...BUT MY TOMMY GUN DON'T! YOU BETTER GET YOUR CARCASS OUT OF HERE BEFORE I COUNT TO THREE! ONE...TWO...(BUDDA-BUDDA-BUDDA) THREE! MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMAL!"

That last line could definitely apply to our PEOTUS. I'm sorry if I'm offending of my friends who voted for him, but anyone who boasts of his sexual conquests, insults important trading partners,criticizes everybody from Alec Baldwin to NBC's Hallie (or, as he calls her, Haley) Jackson (no relation to Michael, who called Trump Tower home), AND violates a sacred trust with China, deserves to be called a filthy animal. As he would say, "Believe it."

In a break with a longstanding Steve's Blog holiday tradition (See Naughty Lists for 2013, '14 and '15.) I'm going to cut to the chase and name Donald J. Trump the Naughtiest Newsmaker of 2016.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal! (BANG-BANG-BANG) And a Happy New Year! (HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK, rated PG, is available from Amazon, Hulu and Netflix and also is scheduled to air on AMC and certain other national networks during the holiday season.)

Steve out!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Steve's Post-Thanksgiving Leftovers


Michael Che, who co-anchors SNL's Weekend Update, says Trump may be right about what the iconic comedy show says about him in an upcoming issue of GQ. Michael, fellow Rangers fan and comedy god, I love you and respect your opinion, but I'm worried your boss Lorne Michaels might use Don's famous catchphrase on you.


Last time, I told all CFL fans in Readerland to put the ranch on the Ottawa Red Blacks over the Edmonton Eskimos at the 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. Their correct opponent is the CALGARY STAMPEDERS! My sincerest apologies to the League and both teams involved. (And my apologies to Esky fans for giving you false hopes!)


and to all a good holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Steve's Pre-Thanksgiving All-You-Can-Eat Blog Buffet


I thought Donald Trump was going to be a kinder, gentler President when I heard him saying nice things about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney. Shows you how wrong a guy can be! He has ALSO said some not-so-nice things about HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL (after the cast politely asked his Veep, Mike Pence, to rethink the administration's platform on issues that affect the cast and certain members of their audience) and Alec "How-Can-I-Possibly-Stay-Away?" Baldwin's impersonation of him on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. (Grow a sense of humor, dude!) As you keep saying, you are about to become President of ALL the people, and one of the major things the job entails is keeping freedom of speech alive, and THAT includes trying to, AT LEAST, mildly chuckle at people who try to make fun of you. I admit, I DID want to choke the life out of people who made fun of me in high school, but (A) that was high school and (B) I wasn't the Commander-Of-Chief of the United States of America and the man people around the world look to for guidance. The bottom line is this: Don, I trust you and want you to succeed (except when it comes to building a wall and keeping people out on religious grounds), but PLEASE, stop being such a grouch! (I LOVED Joe Pesci's portrayal of a real estate mogul named Donald Grump on a SESAME STREET Christmas special. He told Oscar, "This looks like the beginning of a rotten relationship."


Times like this just SCREAM for a feel-good movie like TROLLS (PG), from DreamWorks Animation and inspired by the classic Good Luck Troll dolls. Anna Kendrick is lovable as Princess Poppy, the leader of the Trolls who always sees the glass half-full and is always ready to party, and Justin Timberlake gives her a great straight man, I mean, straight TROLL, in Branch, a Troll who doesn't think life is all "cupcakes and rainbows" and (Horror of horrors!) CAN'T SING! In this movie, the Trolls have nothing better to do than sing and dance until they're discovered by the Bergins, large ogres who are never truly happy unless they eat a Troll, or so goes the legend. Twenty years after the Trolls' great escape from the Bergins, Branch warns Poppy that the loud noise from their celebration will attract the Bergins...and, unfortunately, IT DOES! I'm not going to give the story away, but I WILL tell you that J.T., in his capacity as Executive Music Producer, has lined up a lot of great music to tell the story, from Earth,Wind and Fire's "September" and the peppy original song "Get Back Up Again" to Simon and Garfunkel's moving "The Sound of Silence" and two more tearjerkers, Lionel Richie's "Hello" and Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," and TROLLS, produced by  a company founded by Disney exiles, is the closest thing this company, DreamWorks, has come to a great Disney movie that simultaneously warms the heart and tickles the funny bone at once. If I only had enough money to buy either a ticket to TROLLS or a sandwich, I'd CERTAINLY get the ticket! (I WOULD get a TROLLS Happy Meal IF my trainer and my Jenny Craig consultant let me, but I don't want to get back the ten pounds I have so carefully lost. Oh well!) TROLLS may not solve all of today's problems, but it will certainly help you forget them for a while.


Take the Ottawa Red Blacks and the points over the Edmonton Eskimos! (I may not have any immediate plans to move to Canada no matter WHO won the election, but the Cup IS one of the sports world's greatest spectaculars no matter where you live!)


I still love country music, but the only country fans I know who voted for Hillary are Dixie Chicks fans, and I don't want to alienate those fans who go around wearing those red ball caps! I WILL give out the Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music at the end of the year! Promise!

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR... thankful you're not a turkey!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Bye, Buckaroos!

Friday, November 11, 2016

What If?

My name is Uatu, and I am The Watcher, the last of a line of supremely intelligent beings, sworn never to interfere in the occurences on other planets after a tragic accident. For eons I have observed the events not only in your universe, but in myriad alternate universes, and one event that has especially piqued my interest has been the recent campaign for the office of President of the United States that began when Donald John Trump, an outspoken real estate magnate and former television personality, announced his candidacy after making a few racist comments concerning the people of Mexico, continued when he frustrated and stymied the other Republican contenders, and reached its climax when he challenged, and ultimately defeated, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of a former Democratic president and, at various points, a Senator representing the State of New York and the Secretary of State of the United States. From my vantage point on the Blue Area of the Moon, I often ponder what would happen if things didn't turn out the way they eventually did in your reality. What would happen had Clinton won the Presidency is a tale for another time, but, today, I present to you the case of one Steven Long Eisenpreis, who, for three years, has written a series of web logs, or "blogs," as they are more commonly known, on topics from current events to the world of sport. When Eisenpreis visited the city of Philadelphia, known as the Cradle of Liberty because it is where the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, he chanced to encounter an article of clothing that proclaimed, "MOVING TO CANADA! SEE YOU IN FOUR YEARS!" As Trump was a complete blowhard with no political experience, or so he thought, Eisenpreis was fascinated with the idea of moving should he win, and why not? Although America was where he was born and lived, Canada was also dedicated to the same ideas of freedom, a concept he was worried Trump would undermine. To make a long story short, Trump defeated Clinton in a surprise upset, but Eisenpreis changed his mind and decided to remain in America because his friends and the people and things he loved were there and there were many things about America that were better than Canada. But, dear friends, I submit the question, What would happen had Eisenpreis left the Stars and Stripes for the Maple Leaf in an attempt to escape possible tragedy?

WHAT IF...Steve Moved To Canada?  with apologies to Stan Lee who created the Watcher and Roy Thomas who gave him a home in Marvel's WHAT IF?

Steve's First Canadian Blog

HELLO WORLD! BONJOUR MONDE! Welcome to the very first ever Steve's Blog from the Dominion of Canada. I am speaking to you almost live from my palatial estate right across the street from the beautiful Rogers Centre in Toronto, the home of the Blue Jays and Argonauts, and the first retractable roof stadium in North America. Boy, it's a good thing I escaped that hosehead Trump, eh?
I have the pleasure of following a whole lot of excellent expatriates to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), among them Katy Perry, Madonna, Cher, (She originally planned to move to Jupiter, but that wasn't on NASA's immediate to-do list.) Miley Cyrus, (Will she create a new alter ego named Hannah Manitoba?)and a living legend in her own right, Brooklyn's loss, Canada's gain, Barbra Streisand, ready to join such "Canajan" music superstars as Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Anne Murray,  Nickelback, and the one and only, late great Leonard Cohen. (Imagine all THAT talent on the stage at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts!) And the country that gave the world Rich Little, Wayne and Shuster, SCTV, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, the Kids in the Hall, and other comedy legends (including this dude named Lorne Michaels who started a live comedy show that goes on every Saturday night, uh, what's it called?) has become the home of Jon Stewart and Amy Schumer, and I hope the True North, with its reputation for tolerance, is ready for Rev. Al Sharpton! New York may have Broadway, but Tronna has Mirvish Alley, named for Honest Ed Mirvish, the dollar store king, who saved the Royal Alexander Theater from the wrecking ball. Yeah, I know, "Give my regards to Mirvish Alley" doesn't have the same ring, but the Royal Alex, Princess of Wales, and Ford Theaters all have the same star power! Before I continue, I would like to send a shout-out to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who now resides in New Zealand. If it gets too cold here, I might swing over to Pearson International Airport and take Air NZ over to your neighbourhood so we can play catch up! Another shout out goes to my fellow comic fans in the Big Apple. You may have all those Avengers and Justice League dudes, but WE have our very own super guy, Captain Canuck, who's been protecting Canada since 1975 under the creative aegis of Mr. Richard Comely, and X-Men artist John Byrne, a transplanted Brit, who gave us Alpha Flight, Canada's ambassadors to the Marvel Universe. Oh, the immigration process isn't exactly a cakewalk, and I feel some remorse rooting for the Leafs when they play the Rangers, the Jays when they take on the Yanks, or the Raptors when they play the Knicks, but, hey, I'd rather have a Prime Minister like Justin Trudeau than a President like Trump any day. Small price to pay, eh? And no, wise guys, the 90's did NOT wait till 1997 to come to Canada (As HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER claimed in the episode "Slap Bet") and yes, we ARE a real country, (Take that, SOUTH PARK!) and we've got some very talented people here! Matter of fact, I have an audition with TSN (The Sports Network, the Canadian ESPN affiliate) for the position of sideline reporter on Jays telecasts, so, I gotta bid you all adieu, but stop by soon and we'll warm up some bacon for you, eh?

G'day! (I know, it's better known as an Aussie phrase, but Doug and Bob used to say it all the time!)

What the Eisenpreis of this reality failed to take into account was the fact that Americans have never been known to back away from a fight, even if it concerns a man of dubious integrity such as the one they have just elected, as well as the probability of a new Prime Minister of similarly questionable integrity. Where would Eisenpreis go then? Would America welcome him back with open arms? That is also a story for another time. Fortunately, the Eisenpreis of your reality realizes that all he knows and loves is in America, which may not be perfect, but is, in the eyes of many, the greatest country on Earth. I, the Watcher, leave you with this admonition: Donald Trump IS the democratically elected President of the United States of America and deserves a chance. Will he prove worthy of the legacy of Washington, Kennedy and Lincoln? All I can do, all ANYONE can do is wait...and watch.