Monday, December 9, 2013

#86 Santa Steve's Nice List

In  case you've just dug out of the snow that has paralyzed  much  of the country, or your holiday shopping  has taken you out of the loop, the two Naughtiest Newsmakers of 2013 are  Borat and Borat (I  STILL refuse  to dignify them by writing their real  names!), the terrorists who almost turned America's birthday into a nightmare  and   instead  chose to  wreak havoc  on the Boston  Marathon.As  this is Number 86, I can think of no  better way to eighty-six 2013  than with a  countdown  of  the  Nicest Newsmakers  of the year gone by. Understandably, I  am  not donating ONE RED CENT to ANYBODY in  DIS-honor of those two idiots, but this year,  I  am  making donations to two different charities in honor of  the  Nicest Newsmaker AND his runner-up! (Sorry, I'm not trying to be  sexist, I'm trying to get you  to stay tuned!) This blog will  resume in 2014, although I'm not ruling out the occasional breaking  news event. I would  like  to thank all my readers  in  the  USA,especially Bettijane Eisenpreis,Gretchen  Muller  and  Judy Wilder,  for your continued  support,Nicole Vranzanian  for suggesting this  blog  in  the  first place, Google for  putting up  with my nonsense, and  China,Canada,the  UK, Serbia,Germany,  and  France  for stopping by! (As for the  Ukraine,  if you can't say anything nice...)

And now, without any further ado,  (I  just used  up my supply of ado!)  THE TOP TEN NICEST NEWSMAKERS  OF 2013!

HONORABLE  MENTION The New York Police  Department

You  keep  putting your lives  on the line  so we  can  live  ours in peace.  This  is  a natural segue  into...


When  he was Commish, he changed New  York from Crime City back to Fun  City. Now that Mayor-Elect Bill  DeBlasio  has  given  him his job back,  it's more  than  likely that the Big  Apple  will  remain  the  safest large city in the world. (But for  how  long?  Dum-dum-DUMMMMMMMMMM!)


The "e"  may be silent, but this  lovely New Zealander sure  isn't! Her  first  worldwide megahit,  "Royals," is the perfect antidote to all those  rappers  who  have regaled us with tales  of their stretch  limos, champagne,  and high-profile paramours! She  may not be a material  girl,but she sure  isn't Miley either, and  we can  all  be thankful for that!


This current  iteration  of the  Saturday Night Live gang has made  us  take  ourselves  a  little less  seriously with  their parodies of  everything from Al Sharpton to people  who  try to get in  the  holiday spirit three weeks  early,  which includes  just about everybody!


For seven years, he  co-anchored  WABC-TV Channel  7 Eyewitness  News on  the weekends  and  he  was dispatched to the scene of important breaking stories. As  he  returns to his  native Boston to  anchor WCVB NewsCenter 5, this blog joins his many viewers who thank him for his  selfless commitment to his craft  and his participation in our community and wishes him the best of luck.  The Marathon  taught me how to respect the resillience of the people of Boston, and,  although I hate to admit it, that town is a better fit for him.Good luck, Phil! We're leaving the door WIDE open  for you!

HONORABLE MENTION David Murphy (and  David Murphy)

This guy is one of my Twitter followers, and as a proud  resident of Delaware County,  PA, has served  as a weatherman  with  6abc Action News in Philly for twenty years,which was why I couldn't believe what I heard  one morning  during my recent trip  there. I know he's a  sports fan, and  we  sports fans  do tend to  make  analogies  in sports terms, like saying a  certain candidate is  "down for the count"  or that Carrie Underwood's performance on THE  SOUND  OF MUSIC  (More on that later!) was  a "home  run," but I was worried that he  pulled  a Phil Lipof just as soon as I came  in when he said, matter of fact-ly,"I have been  traded to Cleveland." I was  both shocked over the announcement and  happy that he was going to the home of the Rock And Roll  Hall of  Fame  and Progressive Field, (I would have  loved  to have  seen  a  publicity shot of him  with a Flo walkabout!) but then he pressed a  button  on the Action  News Big Board,
(the large screen monitor they use for weather and  entertainment stories)  and a  sports story right off, reporting that David Murphy OF THE TEXAS RANGERS  had been traded to Cleveland! I later tweeted, "Good  luck  in  Cleveland!" and added  LOL  and  a  little smiley face.  He replied, "Hope  I'm not riding the bench!" Here's wishing David  Murphy and David  Murphy a very Merry Christmas!


This New York Yankee  pitcher was called  the  Sandman  because he  put opposing batters  to sleep.  We  Yankee fans were  always wide awake and  giving  him a  standing  O every  time  he  came  to the  hill. Mr.  Sandman, thanks  for bringing New York five  World  Series dreams and good luck on your retirement!


Contrary to popular belief,  country singers CAN sing Broadway! Cases in point,  Reba McEntire who  filled  Bernadette  Peters' king-size  cowboy boots in the revival  of "Annie  Get Your Gun," and  a  former
Oklahoma  school teacher  named Carrie Underwood who played  Maria  vonTrapp,  the mother of the famous  Austrian  musical family,  in  NBC's live TV production  (the first live presentation  of a musical in  50  years!)of  Rodgers  and Hammerstein's  heart-warming  THE SOUND OF  MUSIC. Although she doesn't quite live up to the standards Julie Andrews set as an  actress,she stands on  her  own merits, although she  truly shines  the brightest as  a singer. From American  Idol to  governess.  Not too  shabby!
Kudos also to Laura Bennanti who has  finally shed  her  image as  the Bunny Mother on  NBC's late,  largely unlamented  account of  life  at THE  PLAYBOY CLUB with  her  witty portrayal of Captain  vonTrapp's fiance Elsa,  especially on  her two major  numbers, "How  Can Love Survive?"  and  "No Way To Stop It." Rainn  Wilson,formerly of THE  OFFICE,tweeted  to  his old  boss,"If  you  need  a  Pippin,I'm  ready!" Bring it on,  O  Peacock,although  it will no  doubt pale in  comparison to THE SOUND  OF  MUSIC!


The World's  Most Famous  Arena finally completed  its  transformation,  and it looks better than ever  with a brand  new lobby,  HD video  displays, and  a state of the  art scoreboard,  as well as monthly concerts  from


the first Artist-In-Residence  in the more-than-150-year  history of  the Garden  as  well  as any arena in the   world.  New York's  Piano  Man  has become MSG's fourth  franchise  (after  the  Rangers, Knicks  and Liberty),  and the  Big Shot is  about to get HUGE! I  had the  pleasure  to meet Billy and  his  then-wife Christie Brinkley at the  Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade  in  1992, and  with  him,what you  see is  CERTAINLY what you get! It couldn't happen  to a  nicer  guy!

And  now, we're up to our Top Two  Nicest Newsmakers  of 2013. For reasons  I  will explain later, I am making a donation  in both their  names to We  Can  Be Heroes,  an initiative  of DC Comics  dedicated  to fighting hunger  in  the  Horn  Of  Africa.  For more information  on this initiative, and  how it can  win you cool DC  Super  Hero  merchandise, log onto


Holy Wish  Fulfillment,  Batman!  Move  over, Robin, the  Caped  Crusader  has  a new sidekick in  five-year-old Miles  Scott, a cancer  survivor  currently in remission  who wished to fight crime  alongside his  hero.  Make-A-Wish and local  San  Francisco  businesses got together to turn  the beautiful  City By The Bay into dark  and gritty Gotham  City (no  rhyme  intended) and mild-mannered Miles became Batkid,  untying a damsel  in distress  from the cable car tracks,  freeing the  Baseball  Giants'  mascot, and  protecting the  populace from  the  likes of the Joker, Penguin  and Riddler. For showing us that we, as  David  Bowie sang, all  can  be heroes  if only for a day, Miles  Scott is our  SECOND Nicest Newsmaker  of 2013,  and a  donation will also be  made  in  his  name  to the Make-A-Wish Foundation  so more  terminally ill  children  can realize their  dreams.

I'd also like to send a  shout out to Debby Ryan  of Disney's JESSIE  (She  plays a musician trying to make  it in New York who works  as a live-in  nanny.)  for proving that Disney stars CAN be  well-adjusted, normal  people!

BUT, it's time to unveil the Nicest Newsmaker  of 2013,  and the award  GOES TO...


True,  Nelson Mandela was no saint. He was divorced,  branded  a terrorist,  imprisoned, maybe  more  like one  of Shakespeare's characters than Batman  or  Superman, but he brought down  the corrupt government of South  Africa and helped turn one  of the biggest countries in Africa  into a  true democracy  as its first duly elected  President.For making  Doctor King's Dream  a  reality  and uniting a house divided, "Madiba" is the  (posthumous) STEVE'S BLOG NICEST NEWSMAKER  OF  2013.In  addition to making a donation in  his name to We  Can Be Heroes  to end  the hunger crisis in his beloved  continent of Africa,I celebrate  his special relationship with  New York by also donating in  his name  to the Garden Of Dreams  Foundation,  Madison Square  Garden's charitable arm dedicated  to  funding  after-school  sports  and  cultural  programs for the  disadvantaged  kids  of New  York. For  more information,  visit .

And so we bring to  a close  the first calendar year of  Steve's  Blog.  Once  again, thank  you to all our readers  coast to coast and around  the world.  Barring any unforseen circumstances (including breaking news  stories) we will be back on  or about January 2,2014. I  hope our Jewish friends  had  a happy Chanukah, and  I  hope  the  rest of you have  a Good Kwanzaa,  a  Happy Solstice,  and,  OF COURSE,  a Merry Christmas  and a  Happy New Year.

Hmmm, let's see.  I  counted down  the  Naughty Newsmakers, I  counted  down the Nice  Newsmakers,  I announced  my donations,  I thanked the readers, guess there's one thing left to  do.

Roses are  red,violets are blue.
This  blog is over,  so  it's


#85 Santa Steve's Naughty List

Before I kick off my first annual Naughty List, I would like to say "Feliz  Natal!" to our friends in Brazil and "Shengdan jie  kualia!" to our friends  in China. Welcome to  SteveNation!

As the year races to its conclusion,I would like to recognize this year's newsmakers, both the naughty and the nice. This blog will  make a donation in the name of the Nicest Newsmaker of the Year to a charity to be named later, but as for the Naughtiest, I would like to quote Mr. Willy Wonka:

"You get NOTHING!
Good DAY,SIR!"

DISHONORABLE MENTION The New York City Panhandler

Yeah, I know,we're supposed to help the  poor,but this is one instance when patronizing secondary sources (The Salvation Army or, in my case, Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York's Sunday Lunch Program) beats going directly to the source. These people pop up on streets and subways and ask us for dimes and quarters so they can "get something to eat." A lot of them either are or claim to be (I vote for "claim to be.") Veterans. I keep hoping and praying for the day when I  hear one of them  say, "Excuse me, I'm a homeless food critic who got kicked out of every restaurant in Manhattan after I gave Le Cirque only one star. Can you  help me get a New York cut sirloin,  medium rare?" ORRRR, maybe they're just plain scam artists. Whatevs.  Next time you see one,  either walk on by or say no. (If you MUST say something other than no, whip  out your Zagat book or Guide Michelin and start throwing names at him. Unless he's a bonafide foodie,  he's going to run away faster than a speeding bullet. Works for me!) And stop asking us if we have a cigarette, Mr./Ms. Panhandler! Call 311 or 1-866-NY-QUITS for help in getting off those things!
I would also LOVE to hear one of those guys asking us for Nicorette!

Speaking of which, let's kick off the Bottom Ten Countdown with,


That's the name my friend Scott Shannon gave those glorified panhandlers who put on cheap, skanky costumes and pass themselves  off as Mickey and Minnie, Buzz Lightyear, Papa Smurf and Batman, and let me tell you, Nation, it fits them like the sub par gloves that cover their tip-grubbing hands. They've been known to get aggressive, often threatening groups such as the Girl Scouts and they've  even  been  known to TAKE THEIR HEADS  OFF  IN  PUBLIC! ON  TIMES SQUARE! Hey,F.A.'s, if you REALLY want to be these beloved  characters,  (A)  take  a legit theme  park job or  (B)  audition  for  a traveling  show  such as Disney On Ice  or  Disney Junior Live, and  remember,  DON'T TALK  IN YOUR OWN VOICE! (One  exception was the actor  who played Teenage  Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael  and  asked  me, in Raph's tough guy voice, "Aaaaay, How ya doin'?")People  know animal characters and characters such  as Buzz Lightyear and their unmistakable voices, and  the F.A.'s must be  doing  their best to  make  sure the  reps of Mickey, Minnie, SpongeBob and others are irreversibly damaged.One more thing, F.A.'s :THOSE  CHARACTERS ARE  COPYRIGHTED! Hope you've saved enough tip  money to pay off those lawsuits!


The first time  I saw the Jonas Brothers in concert was on the corner of 79th and Third. No,  they weren't singing for their supper like the performers on  subway platforms!  They had just inked a contract with  Columbia  Records  and Radio  Disney put on a free concert at the  Third Avenue  Street Fair.  This  was BEFORE they became superstars with the Mouse House,and even before that link was forged, I noticed they were  nice  guys, devoid  of the angst of the grunge acts and the bells and whistles  of the  arena acts.
Simply put, before they were  the JoBros, the JB's  and  the  Jonai, they were  Joe, Kevin Jr.and Nick,three  guys who  loved  their family,  their  fans,and  their music.Six years,  three TV shows, and  a veritable plethora  of albums,singles  and concerts  later,the Jonas  Brothers have been dissolved  (as an act)  and Joe has "interviewed himself"  for New York magazine saying that the whole nice guy image was fabricated by Disney (Mr.Nice Guy said  WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!") and that Demi Lovato turned  him onto  pot. (TMI!) Hey, JoJo, you MUST be  high, because Papa  Kevin,  not Disney, made  you squeaky clean  nice guys,  nobody gives  a rat's  rear about your sex life,and we  couldn't care less about your pot habit. Such  things  are best discussed with therapists,  not in the  Court of  Public Opinion.


Johnny Torts WAS the Head  Coach  of the New York Rangers until they were bounced out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Boston Bruins, thus ending a strike-shortened season that will go down in Ranger history as one of the all-time  worst. Good  luck with Vancouver, J.T. YOU'LL  NEED IT!


The 2013 Super  Bowl  was  SUPPOSED  to be a  testament to the resillience  of New Orleans  and its  people,  and for two quarters  and one handsomely-produced  Beyonce  halftime show,  it was, but early in the third quarter,  the  power  went  out in the  Mercedes-Benz Superdome, suspending  play and beginning  a  performance of  Theatre  of the Absurd,  starring CBS  Sports reporter Steve Tasker, who  signed on  as a sideline  reporter for the radio  network and  had to blabber  incoherently before tossing it to the NFL  Today crew  and THEIR  incoherent blabbering! (At  least this  made great material  for Charissa  Thompson  on ESPN SportsNation and the SNL gang!)

6. LUCKY 7

This drama, following the  adventures of  seven  friends who each shared  a  winning lottery ticket, was supposed  to capitalize on the country's LottoMania epidemic.  It only lasted two  episodes. How very UN-


The Audience-0.

4. MILEY CYRUS  (To  the tune  of "Best Of  Both Worlds" from  HANNAH  MONTANA)

She  had a  top  rated  show.
She was  Disney Channel's  Hannah  Montana.
But when  they told  her, "It's time to go,"
She  cut her hair and  went all  kinds  of bananas.
Who  would have thought that a girl like that,
Would turn into a twerkin' jerk?
It's  just the WORST IN THIS WORLD!
Without the  shades  and  the  wig,
Got a whole  'nother gig.
It's  just the WORST IN THIS WORLD!
Get your  act together,
'Cause you  know you're  just the  WORST IN  THIS WORLD!


When Alexander Emanuel Rodriguez arrived in the Bronx to assume the  hallowed  Yankee  pinstripes,  he was accepted by  fans and players  alike  as a  power hitter and  all-around nice guy. Unfortunately, Kryptonite for THIS  Superman was performance enhancing drugs, and  after Major League Baseball  conducted  a  conclusive investigation, this player who  likes to be called A-Rod was suspended. Goodbye and good riddance,  A-Roid!


The Mayor of Toronto  was  originally going to be my Number Two Naughtiest due to  his excessive drinking and drugging,  but he was  bumped  down by...


You know  the expression, "You  snooze, you lose?" Well,  Billy Boy "zoned  out" and thanks  to him, four innocent  riders of  his Metro-North Harlem Line  train lost their lives, many more were injured,  and the whole  sorry affair got the attention of the  National Transportation Safety Bureau!  As the late,great Soupy Sales  once opined,  "A good day's work  never hurt anybody, and neither did a good day's  rest!"


Actually, this award is SHARED by Borat and Borat,  (I  STILL refuse  to  dignify them  by saying their real  names!)  the Boston  Marathon   bombers. Fool US once, shame on you. Fool US  twice, not gonna happen!

NEXT: The Nice List!


Monday, December 2, 2013

#84 For Many, Christmas Has Been Cancelled

Sunday, December 1,2013. The dawn  of the last month of the year under sunny skies. Winter's Eve, the last major street fair of the year, and the Lincoln Square  Neighborhood Association's celebration of the neighborhood's rich cultural  history,  was  ready to light up the Upper  West Side, the Jets were getting ready  to play (and  lose to) the Miami Dolphins, and Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center were also making lists and checking them twice  to insure their respective tree lightings went off without a hitch. In short, it was just another holiday weekend morning in the World's Greatest City.

Until 7:30 AM.

That was  when an early morning  run on the MTA Metro-North Harlem (commuter) Line took a turn for the deadliest. The train tried to round a curve in the all-too-aptly-named Spuyten Dyvil section of the Bronx and derailed,  taking four and leaving dozens injured.

As  far as we know now,  terrorism is  not an issue, and the  weather was  too mild to have played a part, so either human or mechanical  error is a possibility, but, the fact remains, too many people will not be able to enjoy the holidays with their loved ones. It's  too early and too risky to point fingers now, but all we can do is
watch,  wait, keep putting two and two together to come up with the answer, and, of course,  pray for those who recover, wait for their loved ones to return, and mourn their losses.

Oooooookay, on a happier note,  congratulations to the Giants who scalped the Redskins  (BTW,keep the name, guys, and don't succumb to political correctness!) and still have a shot at the playoffs.

Until the next pandemonious post, this is your pronouncer reminding you,shop responsibly, drive carefully, you have two more days of Hannukah so hurry up, AND...

...Bye, Buckaroos!
(And  say a prayer for the families of the derailment victims, OK?)

Friday, November 29, 2013


Welcome back, SteveNation! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and those of you  who celebrate (like  Yours Truly) have had a happy  first two days of Hannukah. Boy, two holidays overlapping, does it get any better than this? Actually, it does, since Canada and Germany are back in  the audience. During the break, I noticed that the Ukraine came back, and I WAS going to say something about their Prime Minister and the EU, but I was advised against it. Chile also briefly joined the family during the break, but if I gave them the old "Chile today and hot tamale" joke, I'd probably get one of those presents Jokey Smurf used to give his friends, but this time it WOULDN'T be very funny! While our hard-working morning DJ's  on this side of the border are taking a well-deserved long weekend off to be with friends and family, I would like to send a shout out to those radio guys and gals in the Great White North who are entertaining us today (November 29,2013,  to be exact) on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, particularly Roger, Darren and Marilyn on 104.5 CHUM FM (Today's Best Music!) in Toronto. Happy Holidays, eh? (You live in a great city. I just wish you guys had a better mayor!) BTW, if you have the iHeart Radio app, you can get CHUM FM, but if  you don't, you can log on directly via .

Today is Black Friday in the USA (and CA), traditionally the busiest shopping day before Christmas, but if you've been faithfully reading this blog, you'll know that many stores decided to start late yesterday, and if you remember, you know that I objected very unreservedly to the move. When I got up, my worst fears were realized, there was a shooting outside a Kohl's in the Chicagoland area, there was a melee at a Brands Mart in Florida, and although Walmart believes in living better, there was a customer at a Jersey store who sure didn't BEHAVE better. COME ON GUYS! 'Tis the season to be jolly, remember? The Pizza Hut and Sears managers in New England who believed opening on Thanksgiving was a bad thing are to be commended for putting tradition and family above shopping madness. I have nothing against supporting your local economy, but I have EVERYTHING against acting like George "The Animal" Steele (a WWE Superstar from the 80's) just to get that special something for that special someone. Shopping is supposed to be fun, not something out of "Game Of Thrones," (Anybody see the special Black Friday episode  of SOUTH PARK? It was one of those things that are funny, but all too accurate.) You can have a ball, but remember to respect the security guard, the manager, and your fellow customers. Let's be careful out there, OK?

One fun thing you can get on line that won't cost you a dime is "Steve's  Postgame Report," a recap of the year that was. You can find it nestled right in the middle of the June blogs.  (I originally wrote it when the year was half over, but you don't need me to tell you that a LOT of water has gone under the bridge since then!) Readers of "The City-Dwellers Gazzete"  will be happy to know that a condensed and adapted version of said Postgame Report will be headed their way, so check your mails, people! (Bee-Tee Dubs, astute readers will also know that I spent a week in Philly. I did NOT say a word about it, but so help me Hannah, and I don't mean Miley, you'll get a detailed description in SB84. Until then, love thy neighbor (even if he or she runneth over thy foot with a shopping cart!), remember our boys and girls overseas, AND...

Bye Buckaroos!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

#82 Stevie In Front of The TV: Killing Kennedy (TV-14)

OK, I know,I said this blog would go on hiatus for two weeks, but I saw a re-airing of KILLING KENNEDY on the NatGeo Channel (or National Geographic, in case you never had the pleasure to find an excuse for finding naked photos in grade school, but I digress), and since the 50th anniversary of those dark days in Dallas is coming up, I just couldn't keep it to myself.

To make a long story short, if you haven't seen it, DO.

To make the same long story longer, Rob Lowe  plays President John  F. Kennedy to the hilt, capturing both the statesman side and the playboy side, and  Ginnifer Goodwin(ONCE UPON A TIME) doesn't just PLAY Jackie, she BECOMES her. Bill O'Reilly executive-produced this masterful adaptation of the insightful  book  he co-wrote with Martin Daugard, and their dedication, research, and attention to details shows. (It should be noted that Ridley Scott, better known for the movies BLADE RUNNER and ALIEN, is also a  co-executive producer. As  JFK himself was fond of quoting, "Victory has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.") The Kennedys of Camelot are depicted as they were, warts and all, and we grow to understand Lee Harvey Oswald's twisted motivation for performing this dastardly act. You'll just have to watch this movie to find out if he acted alone, but one thing is  certain, this cast and crew conspired together to present a docudrama that will have you on the edge of your couch. Need I say it? CLICK IT!

NOW I am officially putting this blog on hiatus.

See ya in two weeks, buckaroos!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#81 Oh, Waiter, Another Order Of Crow?


The National Education Association, for not giving them proper credit for their book list for the book drive mentioned in SB80,

Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York, for jumping to conclusions as to why the Bible wasn't included on its book list, which, as I just mentioned, is not really "its" book list.

Rabbi  Joshua Davidson for questioning his intentions.

Our worldwide audience for dragging them into this.

And if THAT weren't enough, I was told by my best friend and toughest critic, Bettijane Eisenpreis, that if the NEA included the Bible, they'd have to include the New Testament and the Koran. I kinda forgot about the deeper ramifications of the Freedom of Religion clause of the First Amendment.MY BAD!

The Bible is STILL a must-read, but kids REALLY shouldn't read it unless certain stories are adapted in a sanitized picture-book format or explained in some watered-down, understandable, fashion. (Personally, I got a good chuckle out of VeggieTales' CGI comedy adaptation of "Jonah," which featured the Pythonesque "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.")

This blog will also take a two-week leave of absence due to a vacation in Philadelphia and the Thanksgiving holiday, barring any unforeseen breaking news story.

Gobble gobble, buckaroos! (Or should I say, pilgrims?)

#80 Abraham, Isaac, and Pooh?



RE #79, "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,Actually TOO MUCH!"

I agree. I'm considering putting up a turkey tree.

                                                                          Judy Wilder
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I would like to start this blog by sending a shout out to Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, who will assume the reins at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York on December 9. He has suggested that all members donate books  for disadvantaged children and he gave us a list of titles. Now, I believe this is a noble idea on his part, and I like a lot of the books on the list, as a matter of fact, I bought a condensed version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, but the people who compiled the list left off ONE VERY IMPORTANT BOOK:

The Bible!

Yep, the Four Books of Moses,the Two Books of Kings,and everything in between.Now, I don't mean to bring the black rain down on Rabbi Davidson and his charitable efforts, but since when were Winnie The Pooh,Arthur the Aardvark, and that scatterbrained Amelia Bedelia more important than Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses?

The Bible, or Superbook,  as CBN calls  it, (At least we can agree with Pat Robertson on ONE thing, right?) has it all! Drama, humor, action,adventure,romance, and, of course, happy endings, all in one neat package,and the engine that powers Judaism in general and Emanu-El in particular,and yet, IT'S COMPLETELY ABSENT FROM THE LIST!

As a Jew, one thing I can be proud of is that most of the super heroes that have inspired generations from the Greatest Generation to Generation Y were created by Jews and largely inspired by Jewish lore (Superman has  been compared to Moses, the Hulk was mistaken in  one story for the Golem, whose  story is also missing from the list,and the ever-lovin'-blue-eyed Thing was revealed to have Jewish ancestry in one story.),so I thought outside the box and got two collections of super hero story books,each published by Marvel(Spider-Man,Spider-Woman, the Hulk,the She-Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Mighty Thor,Captain America, the Avengers,Dr.Strange, both sets of X-Men and Professor X) and DC(Superman,and Batman. Wonder Woman, being inspired by Greco-Roman tradition, does not count.). Unfortunately, I was roundly and soundly defeated, but, like the stories in the Bible, super hero stories at their best show good triumphing over evil, men who question their responsibility yet winding up taking it seriously, and characters who seem larger than life but who are no different than you and I.

As you may have gathered from past blogs, I like certain aspects of Christmas, although Chanukah is my holiday, and one of those aspects is the story of the Grinch, which is a story of redemption in the best Biblical tradition, and a notable exception to my grievance against the largely secular book list with which we have been entrusted. I believe the key to any good business is promotion, and if Emanu-El put the Bible on the book list, it would be effectively promoting its brand. I mean no disrespect, but if such thinking is wrong, I'm sorry, but I don't want to be right.

I would like to apologize to my worldwide audience for dragging them into a VERY local discussion, but I'm sure that those of you who have been faced with a similar task will understand.

I am proud to say that I made a major contribution to Emanu-El with no small amount of help from the fine folks at Disney, whose greatest stories were inspired by themes similar to those in the Bible, and I was equally shocked that books featuring the original Disney characters and based on the classic Disney movies (I imagine the Ernest Shepherd illustrations were favored over the Disney illustrations for the Pooh stories.) were not on the list.

I  applaud the Rabbi on his efforts to help those less fortunate than ourselves, but, please keep in mind, some of those children were forced to live on the street because their parents turned their backs on the Bible, and I don't want that to happen. Call me a Bear Of Very Little Brain like the aforementioned Mr. Pooh, but there are some things I can't keep quiet about, and I just need to tell the world what I think. Ain't that America?

Bye Buckaroos!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#79 It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Actually TOO MUCH!

Before we begin, a little business...

Welcome back,  China and Israel, especially Israel! Just like a lot of TV shows over here in the good old U-S-of-A, I'd like to warm up the audience with a little joke you Israelis would appreciate.

A young couple, and his mother-in-law, took a honeymoon in Israel, but, sadly, Mom died. The husband called a funeral parlor and told them what happened. The undertaker explained, "For fifty bucks, we can bury her right here in the Holy Land, and for five-hundred we could ship her back home." Hubby thought a second and replied, "Send her home." Shocked, the undertaker replied, "Why not save money and bury her here?" Hubby responded, "You people buried a guy and he came back after three days, and I don't want to take that risk!"

Last time, I responded to my mom, Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, and her comments on SB77. I was trying to provide honest political commentary in the tradition of Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann (my erstwhile close warm personal friend), Chris Matthews, and to a very lesser extent, Glenn Beck, but THEY don't have a mom in public relations, which I DO. She was trying to sway me with all those various comments, but yesterday, she wrote me about the possibility about getting hit by a bike.

Things that make you go Hmmmmmm.

OK, to today's topic we go, and not only are a lot of stores opening on Thanksgiving, which  defeats the whole purpose of the holiday, but Chicago, Philly, and we Big Applers  are getting hit by either snow flurries,
frozen rain, or full-on blizzards, and as if THAT weren't enough, Lifetime and Hallmark are ALREADY airing Christmas movies.

As ESPN's Cris Carter would say, "COME ON,MAN!" We just finished with Veteran's Day (Thank you,every one who has served or is serving, by the way.) and many of us have taken off our Halloween costumes, (For those who haven't, a meeting at your local AA chapter is STRONGLY recommended.) and ALREADY we're talking Christmas?!?!?!?

Well, since we're celebrating Chanugiving or Thanksakah or whatever the heck we're calling it, and the economy the way it is, I guess an early dose of the holiday spirit IS a good thing, but all that snow in Chicago,Philly, Pittsburgh and here AND temps?!?

I have a few words for the stores, the networks, the few radio stations that are already putting their regular formats on holiday vacation AND Mother Nature herself:


Some traditions should be respected and those who observe their respective holidays should prepare for them and observe them in a calm and orderly fashion. Next year we're celebrating Chrismukah. Next year, O   Powers That Be, could you PLEASE hold off on the winter weather until it's ACTUALLY winter?

Unfortunately, the Filipinos will NOT have a Merry Christmas this year. Please visit or call  1-800-HELP  NOW to make sure your donation gets to the Philippines DIRECTLY and without compromise.

Bye Buckaroos!

NEXT: Charles M. Schulz once said there were three things you should never discuss: Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin. Well, we've discussed Halloween, Election Day, and the winter holidays, which involve religion, but next time I  will talk about certain books and whether they are as important or more important than the Good Book itself. It's a Steve's Blog of Biblical proportions! Don't miss it, BE THERE!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

#78 Letter Have It! Special Post-Election Edition

First things first, welcome back,China, and, apparently, France has been reading this blogue manifique. Next time, would you please hang around just a LITTLE longer so I can give you a proper acknowledgement?(However, Lithuania has left the building. Oooookay. Just don't be a stranger, all right?)

Now, on to SB77. I  said a few things about New York City Mayor-Elect Bill DeBlasio, and, in an effort to keep this blog fair and balanced, I asked SteveNation for feedback. Fortunately, I got some from my Dear Old Mom, Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, but,UNfortunately, she opened up a can of whoopin', make that a SIX-PACK of whoopin' on poor little old me. Since I  said that letters may be edited for space and clarity, I have done just that, and I will address certain salient points.

Yes, crime is down under Bloomberg. It is also down everywhere else in the country, except Detroit.
I just worry we could be another Detroit under DeBlasio.

about the SummerStreets promotions which open the streets to foot and bicycle traffic in August but limit automotive traffic.
it's just a little bump in the road. (Pun somewhat intended.)

about the banks, drug stores, and fast food places on every corner in Manhattan.
A) Everybody needs to be close to their money in case of emergency!
B) Accidents do happen!
C) A guy's/girl's gotta eat!

I still love you anyway!
Awwwww! You're makin' me blush, but the feeling IS mutual!

To borrow a feature from Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto:


If your blog is read in a lot of countries, why do you call your fanbase a Nation and not a universe?

Because that title has been taken, by a new Cartoon Network series in the slightly askew tradition of ADVENTURE TIME, REGULAR SHOW, and SPACE GHOST COAST TO COAST. Created by former ADVENTURE TIME writer and storyboard artist Rebecca Sugar (and the first show in the 21-year history of Cartoon Network to be created by a woman) STEVEN UNIVERSE airs Mondays at 7 PM and chronicles a boy who inherited a power gem from his mother, Rose Quartz, a member of the super shero group the Crystal Gems. Not only does he deal with the great responsibilities that come with great power,but he attempts to prove to the world that he's  not just a kid, but a true hero.  (This character was inspired by Rebecca's real-life brother Steven, an artist for AT creator Pendleton Ward's webseries BRAVEST WARRIORS.) If you like action, adventure, music (British singer Estelle is a voice actor.), modern animation in the classic style and a show with a lead character with a great first name, CLICK IT! (FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm a LITTLE prejudiced!)

Finally,the people of the Philippines need your help as they recover from Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Please support your local Red Cross or use your major credit card at, or send your check in US Dollars or Philippine pesos to:
Philippine Red Cross
Bonifacio Drive
Port Area
P.O. Box 280
Manila 1018
and make checks payable to Philippine Red Cross.

Bye Buckaroos!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#77 Special Election Night Bulletin!


Bill deBlasio has been elected Mayor of New York which can only mean one thing:

Welcome back to the Bad Old Days.

Goodbye tourists, hello terrorists.

Goodbye Radio City Christmas Spectacular, hello "Christmas in July" looting.

Goodbye Bronx renaissance, hello "Ladies And Gentlemen, The Bronx  Is Burning."

I voted for Joe Lhota because he KNOWS what he's doing.

He's been an Executive Vice President for Madison Square Garden, he led the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and he was one of Rudy Giuliani's top deputies.

Bill deBlasio, on the other hand, can be summed up in one word...


Now that Germany is back, not only would I like to thank you,Canada, and Lithuania for your support, but I would like to announce that I am now considering a move to either one of you guys.

(In the interest of fairness,I would like to take a page from the book of Richard N. Hughes, for many years the station manager of New York's WPIX, and ask,  "What's YOUR opinion? I'd like to know." SERIOUSLY!)


Monday, November 4, 2013

#76 Sveiki atvke, Lietuva!

Welcome, Lithuania! I know you could have chosen any blog out there, I just thank you for choosing this one! I would also like to welcome our friends in Canada (You too,Quebec!) back to Steve's  Blog.(I'd  especially like to send a shout-out to the fine folks at Teletoon, Canada's sister network to Cartoon Network.You guys turn out a lot of great animated shows for people of all ages, but my two special faves are TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND (and its many spinoffs) which center around an egotistical reality show  host named Chris Maclean and the publicity-starved guinea pigs who jump through his hoops in the name of the almighty dollar, or, in this case, Loonie, and FUGEDDABOUDIT, which chronicles the adventures of a New York mobster who joins Witness Protection and moves to Canada. Keep up the great work, guys!) How was your Halloween? I haven't handed out candy to any pint-sized witches and warlocks for a long time, and although the world famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is marching again, I decided to sit it out this year, (It was on a weeknight this year.) so, for Halloween, I stayed at home and watched the New York Rangers scare the Buffalo Bills almost goal-less while taping "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," which  is one of those shows that never grows old.Congrats to Geoffrey Mutai,Priscah Jeptoo,and everybody else who braved the cold to race in yesterday's ING New York City Marathon, or, to make a long story short, Sandy who?

This coming Tuesday is Election Day in the USA, (I'm a poet,and I'm sure you know it!) and a new Mayor will be elected in New York and Boston. Other than "May the best person win!," this blog is going to refrain from endorsing  a candidate. All  I can say is, "Vote early, but not TOO often, if you smell what I'm cookin'!

Two shows that redefined the public perception of witches were SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH,  based on a character created for the satirical comic ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE by George Gladir and Dan DeCarlo who took on a life on her own with her own book, two animated series, and a now-classic live action show starring Melissa Joan Hart in the title role, and CHARMED, starring Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs as three sister witches. One thing they have in common, other than, of course, protagonists,is that they either are, or will be, rebooted. As I have had the pleasure to meet Alyssa in person, I'm going to have to take her side and oppose a CHARMED reboot, but I would like to say that I enjoy, for the most part,Brina's reboot on the Hasbro/Discovery Communications-owned Hub Network,
SABRINA: SECRETS OF A TEENAGE WITCH, produced by Archie Comics and the French animation company MoonScoop and starring the voice of Ashley Tisdale (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, PHINEAS AND FERB) as a CGI (computer-generated images) version of Sabrina Spellman,the daughter of a witch and a mortal adopted by her aunts Hilda and Zelda and living with her pet cat Salem who is actually a warlock forced to live as a cat. This new series divides the action between Brina's adventures on Witch World and her adventures on "Nitch World." (short for "Non-Witch."), and although it doesn't match up to the TGIF (Thank Goodness It's Funny) live-action classic, it stands on its own magical merits.CLICK IT!

I  wish I could say the same thing about the movie ENDER'S GAME, adapted from the sci-fi blockbuster by Orson Scott Card. Harrison Ford turns in a woefully weak  performance as the  commanding officer of a school of teens pledged to save their planet in this tired rehash  of every good sci-fi movie released since 2001: A  SPACE  ODDYSEY. This movie has managed  to be  the Number One movie at the weekend box  office, which only goes to show there's   no accounting for taste. KICK IT!

Finally, I would like to say goodbye to Lou Reed, one of the pioneers of the New York music scene,  who began a walk on  the serene side last week  after falling victim to liver complications. He  never fell out of style, and he always spoke  it mind,  whether on the internet or through his  song lyrics.  He will be missed.

For now,friends,the blog is over, go in peace!

Monday, October 28, 2013

#75 (Diamond Anniversary!)Stevie In Front Of The TV:Once Upon A Time In Wonderland

When the Muppets tackled ALICE IN WONDERLAND (starring Brooke Shields in the title role), their mini-musical adaptation ended in true Muppet style:

TWEEDLEDEE: What was that noise?
TWEEDLEDUM: Lewis Carroll spinning in his grave!

Well,  Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, creators of the original ONCE UPON  A TIME, and Jane Espenson and Zac Estrin of LOST fame, expect a similar earthquake after foisting ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND upon an unsuspecting world. This version begins with a young Alice the way Disney artist supreme Mary Blair imagined her, innocent with blonde hair and pinafore as first depicted by Sir John Tenniel, running through the streets of London eager to tell her father about the wonderful adventures she had just experienced only to find an  abusive monster about to commit her to an insane asylum. Despite a brilliant performance by John Lithgow as the voice of the White Rabbit, WONDERLAND does little to honor the memory of Lewis Carroll, his two classic tales, and the unique worlds they created. So far I have seen the Knave of Hearts (who stole those tarts) revealed to be Will Scarlet from Robin Hood's Merry Men and Alice herself in a passionate love affair with Cyrus the genie. Curioser and curioser my Aunt Petunia! More like crazier and crazier! Never mind the Jabberwock, beware this show! Or, long story short, KICK IT!

Well, gang, Halloween is upon us,and not only does it bring ghosts and goblins, but it also means colder days are on the way. Not to worry, Summer is just a DVR away. I recommend STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS TINY TOON ADVENTURES: HOW I SPENT MY VACATION (Warner Home Entertainment) starring Babs and Buster Bunny (no relation), Plucky Duck, Hamton J. Pig and the entire Acme Acres gang from the classic FOX Kids show taking off for the summer and taking off on everything from "Deliverance" to "The Little Mermaid" (TINY TOON writer and producer Sherri Stoner was also the live-action model for Ariel, who was also inspired by Disney animator Glen Keane's wife and Alyssa Milano, who, ironically, is afraid of water.), and Disney's TEEN BEACH MOVIE, starring Ross Lynch ("Austin and Ally") as Brady, a fan of the classic teen beach movie "Wet Side Story" (a spoof of the less than Sondheim-esque American International musicals of the early 60's) and Maia Mitchell as McKenzie, his friend who has to catch a flight to college, but who, along with Brady, get swept into the movie by a freak tidal wave. (BTW, TEEN BEACH MOVIE is dedicated to the memory of Disney Legend Annette Funnicello. I'm sure she'd love it.) Just search your favorite site or store, put 'em on your player, and COWABUNGA! Surf's  up! (You may want to put the SPF 45 on!)

Have a scary good time!

Friday, October 25, 2013

#74 A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That

...for the  Ukraine and China, who have returned to SteveNation. Now, don't run away again, or I'll send  the dogs to follow your scent! Just kidding! (And farewell to Russia.  AGAIN.)

  I was just watching the classic Halloween episode of  HANNAH MONTANA, "Torn Between Two Hannahs," wherein  Miley's cousin Luann comes all the way from Tennessee and attempts to expose Miley's secret (Dum-dum-DUMMMM!) and BTW,   both characters were played, and played well, by Miley Cyrus. In one scene, Miley says, "Underneath those cute little piggy tails are devil horns." Isn't it ironic, as Alanis Morrisette sang, "Doncha think," that the real Miley would later roll her hair into devil horns? As longtime fans of this blog are doubtless aware, I  miss the old Miley, but I DID see a glimmer of hope when I saw her in a beautiful Marc Jacobs gown. Maybe she  IS reevaluating her actions!

    I have just heard that those Chicken McNuggets I have loved so much are NOT real chicken! Next thing you'll know, somebody's going to unmask Santa Claus as a pedophile who loves to overeat,spend money on gifts and surveillance equipment,employ sweatshop labor,abuse animals, and break into other people's houses!

    Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox on winning the first game of the World Series! One down, three (I hope!) to go!
     Also, break up the New York Giants! They won their first game of the year against the Minnesota Vikings!  They're too powerful! Can't wait to see how they fare against the first place Philadelphia "Iggles," as they call 'em over there!
     Finally, move over, Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl!" You have competition on Super Sunday. Hallmark Channel is hosting the first annual "Kitty Bowl," with Yankee announcer John Sterling handling the play-by-play and animal activist (and Mrs.Howard Stern) Beth Stern handling the color commentary. I remember first hearing John as an  announcer with the Atlanta Braves and Hawks  before joining the Yanks. I forgive him for his stint as an announcer with the New York Islanders. Everybody makes mistakes! (Take it from a guy who knows! Just see recent editions of this blog and you'll smell what the Steve is cookin'!) He may not use the slogans that have endeared him to Yankee fans, ("It's an A-Bomb from A-Rod!")

   If it's Madison Square Garden, quite nicely! I haven't been inside the newly transformed World's Most Famous Arena just yet, but I have seen Chase Square, the new lobby, and it looks tres cool! I can't wait to see it from the inside! (I just hope it gives the Knicks and Rangers incentive to play better games!)

    ...Bettijane Eisenpreis took issue with the last paragraph of my Sandy report last blog saying that she wouldn't want another Sandy. Well, Mom, with all due respect, NOBODY wants a Sandy-like storm any more than anybody EXPECTS the Spanish  Inquisition. (Remember the classic Monty Python bit?)When a kid invited me into a hurricane simulator at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg,all those Sandy memories came right back to me! I'm just trying to show our international readers that we Americans are up to any challenge,  whether it comes from  Osama bin Laden,Sadaam Hussein, Superstorm Sandy, or Eric Schonfeld! (My downstairs neighbor at 32 Gramercy Park. He could be quite the dictator if he wanted to be!)

Well, that's it for now, but, whether you're putting the finishing touches on your costume, looking for a pumpkin, or just chilling out watching the games,(Take the Giants over the Eagles by a touchdown!) have a great weekend!

Bye Buckaroos!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#73 Sandy, One Year Later

Before I go any further, I always wanted to say this...


Yes, ladies and germs, we're now read in Vietnam, and now that we're all friends here, I hope you enjoy the best blog America has to offer. Well, THIS particular American anyways.

One year ago Monday, Superstorm Sandy made her presence felt across the entire Eastern Seaboard, and this was definitely one of those "Where-were-you-when...?" moments. I thought the whole thing was another Halloween hoax concocted by the lamestream media (Back in 1938, Orson Welles and his  Mercury Theatre troupe devoted the Halloween edition of their weekly radio program to a contemporary adaptation of H.G. Wells' science-fiction classic "The War Of The Worlds," and that brought the entire USA to a standstill, despite Mr. Welles' assurance that it was just their way of "putting on a sheet, jumping out of a bush, and saying Boo.") and this alleged "Frankenstorm" (Seriously?) was, as my friends in Texas are wont to say, "All hat and no cattle."

Everybody was closing up,even McDonald's and movie theatres, two places you can always count on for solace during a crisis. I vowed to stay in my palatious,  spacious, but never ostentatious estate in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan and tough it out,but I caved in to my mom's wishes and took an overnight kit over to her place (my old place)in the Gramercy Park section. We had a good home made dinner, and I went over to what was left of my old apartment to listen to the radio, but I kept hearing about Con Ed,LIPA,and PSE&G turning the power off in residences all over the Tri-State Area, even MY temporary residence. I was confident that come the dawn, the power would come back on and I  could resume a normal life. I attempted to listen to Monday Night Football, but as the evening became morning, I kept pacing  the floor and I even cried once or twice. After the game, local sports talker Steve Somers told us to thank God that we had our life even if we didn't have our power. I wanted to share his attitude of gratitude, but I kept thinking I was right in the middle of a real life horror movie.  The news made anything Hollywood could create seem benign by comparison: The mayor ordered citizens to stay inside, there was no power south of the 40's, this storm sent us back to the Stone Age. I  knew, orders are orders, but I still had to get back to the apartment and retrieve the stuff I had left there. It was a long trek on the stairs to my apartment, my home phone was dead, I didn't know how, or IF, I was going to make it through the next few days. The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and ING New York City Marathon were both cancelled, subway service was limited,  I was praying and praying for things to get back to normal. The following Friday, the lights came back on downtown and I was all too happy to return home, sour milk, elevator delays and all.

Unfortunately, the suburbs were still powerless for a few more weeks, and LIPA customers wanted their supplier to cough up the power they were holding hostage. But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was provided by Madison Square Garden and its Radio City Productions and  Fuse Networks divisions,  who teamed with relief organizations throughout the Tri-State to produce the 121212 Concert For Sandy Relief which featured such A-listers  as the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney,  Susan Sarandon, and even Billy Crystal and Adam Sandler for comic relief. Aired on TV and radio networks worldwide, it raked in a sizable amount of dough to provide food, medicine and temporary housing to those who needed it. Since then, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others have sought to protect our area from the next big storm.

So,come  on,  Mother Nature, do your worst. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have been the first to say it, but this whole area, and America, are STRONGER THAN THE STORM.


P.S.: There may be only one horror movie in theatres this Halloween, but there are TONS of Halloween specials and movies all over TV. My fave so far is ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," starring Shay Mitchell and Ashley Benson. This ep, "Grave New World," brings the girls to a Founders' Day party in...of all places....a GRAVEYARD, and, needless to say, they are NOT in a party mood! Go to for 411  on repeat airings.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

#72 Welcome Back, Britain!

Apparently, the Special Relationship between the USA and the UK hasn't been TOTALLY blown to bits by the soap opera in Washington,  because Britain is back on board as a Steve's  Blog country! (As is Russia, and that's all I'm  gonna say about THAT.) I  don't usually plug other blogs, but if you're into comics and want a different perspective on the characters we unleashed on a grateful planet, check  out Crafty Colin Swift's comments and critiques  on "Too Busy Thinking About My Comics." (Yep! This guy also loves Motown! Nuff said!) You can find it for absolutely gratis on , and trust me, you'll be glad you did!

Speaking of things British, remember when I mentioned that Billy Shakes dude? Well, he wrote the libretto for a great British  opera entitled A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, composed by legendary composer Benjamin Britten, which Yours Truly enjoyed yesterday at Lincoln Center's  (I know,  I  should respect the English language and write "Lincoln Centre,"but that's  just how they roll!) legendary Metropolitan Opera House,  and if you're still one of those who are afraid of opera, this story of love, mistaken identity,elfin magic and spritely mischief should change your mind! Conduct a search on Google or wait until a live performance pulls into your town!

One product of the aforementioned Special Relationship is  alliances between certain Major League Baseball teams and certain Barclays Premier League clubs. One example is the union between Liverpool FC and the Boston  Red Sox. It's a little too early to think about the FA Cup,  but the Sox have shown the Tigers, Rays, and Yankees (Sob!) that they are the best team in the American League, and on Wednesday, they welcome the St. Louis Cardinals as the 2013 World Series begins. If you're over in the UK, head over to for information on where to watch,or, if you're Stateside, you can watch on your local FOX station or listen on your local ESPN Radio station or on  WEEI 93.7 FM Boston or Newsradio 1120 (AM)  KMOX St.Louis. LET'S GO SOX!

Before I make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here,I would like to ask each and every one of you to say a prayer for legendary disc jockey Casey Kasem. According to, he  has  only a few months to live. From his  weekly radio show AMERICAN TOP 40 to his cartoon  voice work,(He played everybody from  Robin the Boy Wonder to Scooby-Doo's bud Shaggy.) Casey has  been a part of our lives,  and unless  a miracle happens, his great American  success story is about to end. He will be missed.

Hmm. Not much I can say, except...

Bye, Buckaroos!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

#71 Now, Where Were We?

Welcome, SteveNation! (For a while,that included Belarus, the Ukraine,  and Russia, but  now, it's just the USA   and Germany. I would like to go on record as saying that I,STEVEN LONG EISENPREIS,  HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RECENT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN,so  don't go abandoning this blog, all you aforementioned other countries, Okay?

Speaking of which, IT FINALLY CAME TO A WELL-NEEDED HALT! Our soldiers and  sailors can  continue receiving their paychecks, Big Bird remains  gainfully employed, and I  CAN  VISIT INDEPENDENCE HALL WHEN I GO TO PHILLY NEXT MONTH! HUZZAH!

At this point, I would like to apologize, because I've been  so distracted by the shutdown, the baseball playoffs, and the New York Comic Con, that I haven't been able to get this fine blog onto your screens. As for all those who claim that this whole shutdown  thing has made this great country seem like a group of bumbling idiots, THIS  IS  A MERE BUMP IN THE ROAD! We've been through worse and there may be some rocky times ahead, but WE WILL SURVIVE! You can't spell American without "I CAN!" All you Debbie Downers, stop complaining! We WILL emerge from this fiasco smelling like a rose, and when 2014 rears its ugly head, we will shut THAT shutdown down too! As Charles M. Schulz so brilliantly observed, "Life is like an ice cream cone. You have to learn to lick it!" Lick it we have, and LICK IT AGAIN WE WILL!

I would also like to apologize to my closest friend and toughest critic,  who happens to be Dear Old Mom, Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, and all those within the sound of my voice, for jumping the gun two days ago and saying the shutdown was already shut down back then. I misinterpeted a report from another close, warm, personal friend of mine who happens to be WPLJ New York's answer to Katie Couric  because she can transition from hard news to celebrity gossip without any difficulty whatsoever, the lovely and talented Cooper Lawrence (who just changed her Twitter handle to Spooky Lawrence apropos of the upcoming All-Hallows-Eve celebrations). I thought Coop said we HAD shut it down, but when it turnout we HADN'T, I spent most of the day wiping all the egg (and the accompanying chicken) off my embarrased mug. Apologies also to Cooper for not paying stricter attention to that one report, and, in advance, for missing her upcoming appearance at the Lincoln Center Best Buy at 1 PM this Saturday, because, I  already plan to be in that neighborhood at that particular time when the Metropolitan Opera presents their version of "A Midsummer's  Night's Dream" by my boy Billy Shakes. Lovin' ya, Coop, but there's only one me to go around! Sorry!

As for the previously alluded-to Comic Con, while they keep getting good speakers and great previews, some of the cosplayers (or costume players) are getting a little TOO crazy for my taste. Don't they have LIVES?!? (Anywho, you can look forward to Marvel's THOR: THE DARK WORLD and AVENGERS 2: AGE OF ULTRON coming to a theatre near you this Thanksgiving and in the New Year, respectively, and
sweeping changes across the DC Universe, especially with the Green Lantern Corps starting with a storyline with the title LIGHTS OUT! I had fun with Rafael Sbarge, a/k/a Jiminy Cricket and Dr. Archie Hopper from ONCE UPON A TIME and former WWE Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana, and saw an entertaining symposium on TV, role models, and the paranormal, among other things, featuring X-FILES stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.)

The Detroit Tigers put up quite a fight yesterday, but I'm confident my (temporarily) beloved Boston Red Sox can hold on and win the American League Championship and, ultimately, the World Series. LET'S GO SAWX!

Will the real Miley Cyrus please SHUT UP?!? And while you're at it, Miles, could you PLEASE cover up all that skin? The next time I hear that new song, "Wrecking Ball, "  so help me,I'm going to BARF! She was at her best during her Hannah Montana days, and nothing anybody, least of all Miley herself, says or does,  is going to change it!

I don't mind Google using our personal reviews for ads. My friend Scott Shannon has aired listener testimonials for advertisers such as NutriSystem for years and nobody complained! As  for all you bellyachers, your privacy is still your privacy, Google just wants to share your opinions with the world, so put a sock in it, OK?

Time to bring this blog to a close, but I'll be back, HOPEFULLY ON TIME, with another mind-boggling Steve's Blog.

Thanks for reading and Bye,Buckaroos!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Last post was Number 69. THIS is Number 70! Your scorecard is now  updated!


#70 Marry,Date or Dump?

First of all, dobry dzien, Bielarus,  (Welcome,Belarus!) and plyrit, Ukrania! (Welcome, Ukraine!) I know you have your choice of blogs, I just thank you for choosing this fine blog.

Now,  I would  like to try something different. I now  submit for your approval the names of three new sitcoms:




And now, imagine those  sitcoms were beautiful girls.Which one would I  keep around for the long haul, which one  would I like to  hang out with before I committed, and which  one  would I just plain steer clear from?

I would  marry THE GOLDBERGS, which  is NOT an update of the Gertrude Berg classic,  but is,  rather, a  semi-autobiographical comedy created and produced by one Adam Goldberg  and set in the 80's. Jeff Garlin, Wendy McLendon Covey, and George Segal turn in hilarious performances as  Adam's dad, mom, and  granddad, respectively, and, with few exceptions, the hairstyles, wardrobe, and pop culture references have been meticulously researched. If you love the 80's, and sitcom families that reflect yours despite the period references, you'll love THE GOLDBERGS. Wubba wubba wubba!  (It's an 80's thing, you wouldn't understand.)

I would  date BACK IN THE GAME, starring Maggie Lawson as Terry Gannon,Jr. (Explanation coming up!), an ex-Little Leaguer who dropped  out of college, drifted from used  car dealership to used car dealership, and lives  with her dad, Terry The Cannon Gannon , a minor leaguer who  never made it to "The Show" and  who insists on referring to himself in the third person (Oh, by the way, he's played by James Caan.). This show  would like to think of itself as the millenial version of "The Bad News Bears," and, for the most part, it combines equal parts fun, heart, and baseball, but there are some portions that are clearly unsuitable for children  (and some adults).I would recommend staying with this show  and seeing whether it can smooth out all  its rough spots and become the advertisment for persistence and enjoying what you do  while you're doing it "Bears" was. This  GAME could win America over  if the producers play their cards right.

I  would dump TROPHY WIFE,  starring Malin Ackerman  in the title role, because the concept of three wives in the same family is a one-trick  pony they keep riding until it's ready for the glue factory. The Brady Bunch this ain't.

Bye Buckaroos!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

#68 A Tribute to Boston

First of all, Wilkommen , Deutschland, nice to see you back on board, and what in the Sam Heck were all the other countries THINKING?!?

Secondly, I know  what you must be thinking, laughing at those jerks on Capitol Hill and their inability to govern, but AT LEAST we gave you jazz, David Hasselhoff, and CNN, and those brave men and women on our military bases who make sure you (and we) are safe, and who listen to baseball on Armed Forces  Radio.

That leads me to my pick  for the American League Championship. As all my US readers know, I'm a proud New York Yankees fan, but despite more than a hundred years of history,twenty-seven world championships, names of players who have achieved baseball godhood, a beautiful new  ballpark and a ballfield where tomorrow's Yankees hone their craft, this season has done little to justify my loyalty.  Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite have hung up their gloves, Alex Rodriguez has gone from hero to zero in nothing flat, and the ailing Derek Jeter is the only link to past glories. As everybody knows, this past year has been a trying time for our friends in the beautiful City of Boston as they recover from the tragic events of the Boston Marathon. When accounts of the family tragedies spread and spread quickly, I recalled what happened here in the Big Apple on what started as a beautiful late summer morning and became another day that will live in infamy, and applauded the resillience of the Beantowners. Although, as a Yankee fan, I have an undying hatred for the Red Sox, (Bucky Dent's  Boston Massacre of 1977 and Bill Buckner's missed catch of the 1987 World Series, anyone?) my respect for the players as tough Americans who play through tragedy was awakened.

Since the Yanks have been eliminated from the playoffs, (Grumble, grumble.) I would like to tell you what I think of the Red Sox NOW: I  predict the Sox, currently 2-0 in their series with the Oakland Athletics, will
sweep the A's and Detroit, and will go on to the World Series to eliminate the Atlanta Braves in four games straight.

The Sawx have it all, great fans, great pitching, great running, great managing, a beautiful field.EVEN a great fifth-inning sing-along ("Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond). All they're missing is the League and World Championships, but THAT can be taken care of!)

Bye Buckaroos!
P.S.: I originally planned to review iHeart Radio's "Nick Radio" internet service, the dramas LUCKY 7 and BETRAYAL and the comedies BACK IN THE GAME, THE GOLDBERGS and TROPHY WIFE and the new toon from the talented Craig McCracken, ("The Powerpuff Girls," and "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends") WANDER OVER YONDER, but those, O Best Beloved,  are stories for another blog, or series of blogs.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

#67Steve's Movie Blog: A Dustin Hoffman Movie You May Have Missed (Aren't You Glad?)

FULL DISCLOSURE: Although AMC Networks is  owned by Jim Dolan,who also pays the salaries of my good friends at Madison  Square Garden,  including the nice ladies who suggested this fine blog, I DON'T RECALL WATCHING AN EPISODE OF "BREAKING BAD" FROM BEGINNING TO END! I WILL extend my condolences to all Walter White's loyal fans as well as the people  behind the scenes, and I DID  hear that Walt was tortured by forcing to watch the subject of the following movie review  and that the director himself was  no huge fan of his own work. I review, you decide. (Actually, I DECIDE! That's how these things work!) Anywho...

MISTER MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM (G) FOX Home Entertainment Starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman Available from Amazon, Netflix, and many retailers, but, then again, you COULD order a nice new book from  Amazon  or a better movie from Netflix.

Dustin Hoffman is Mister Magorium, (and he keeps reminding us  and reminding us  and REMINDING US that his name isn't Steve, and I don't find that  even one IOTA funny, for obvious reasons)and his Wonder Emporium is a living toy store, which he runs with his stooge, I mean, APPRENTICE, a young Natalie Portman (who has danced her way to better things).He decides to"leave" the store and give it to Portman's character, Molly Mahoney, a young girl who's unsure about her ability to follow in her mentor's footsteps. When  she questions her abilities, the store throws a tantrum (I am NOT making that one up!)and starts throwing merchandise at the customers. He hires an accountant (Bateman) who disputes the magical abilities of the store, and I  can't honestly blame him.We think Magorium wants to retire, as do Mahoney and the accountant, but actually, he checks into a mental hospital because he's afraid he's going to die. This in a fun family movie. Yah-stinkin'-HOO. This movie tries to recapture the magic of Disney at the height of his powers and movies such as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," but the laughs are few and far between, and I imagine audience members in the unit age block  squirming and asking, nay, DEMANDING
that Mom and  Dad turn the player off NOW. Hoffman has played memorable characters from The Graduate to Rain Man to Tootsie. It goes without saying that Magorium is  NOT one of them. KICK IT, watch BREAKING BAD, and tell me how it all came out, because I got ONCE UPON A TIME on the DVR and I'm watching the football game.

Bye, Buckaroos!
MY name IS Steve.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stevie In Front of The TV: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Crazy Ones,Mom,It's New To You (Volume 1, Number 6

LETTER HAVE IT! (Or, as I said, way back in STEVE'S BLOG 3, "Let Him Have It!")


RE: "The Best And Worse Of Humanity,"  STEVE'S BLOG 65,  September 22,2013

Nicely stated.

Judy Wilder
via Google +

Hey, Jude, right backatcha!
Remember, folks,  keep  those emails and posts  comin' in! You  can also reach me at my Twitter handle, @SturdySteve, email me directly at, or go to Facebook  and search "Steven Eisenpreis". I  may edit them for space and clarity, or maybe not.

Now, on to the business at hand:


This  feature will spotlight the reruns you've probably never seen before, and our first such rerun comes to us  from "All In The Family," a groundbreaking situation comedy that ran on CBS from 1971 to 1980. Based on the successful British series "Till Death  Us Do Part," it starred Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, an average American working guy living at 704 Hauser Street in Queens with his long-suffering wife Edith,  (the late,great Jean Stapleton) their daughter Gloria, (Sally Struthers) and her radical husband Mike (Rob Reiner.) Recent events in Washington and Nairobi have reminded me of the classic episode,"Archie and the Editorial. "In this episode, Arch settles in for a quiet night of TV, when suddenly, he sees an editorial from the station manager calling for gun control. Being the proud American he is,  Archie angrily turns  off the TV, complains about the liberal who has just "infilterated" his house,recites a page of stats on guns and the decline of crime, and reads the Second Amendment. (Conviently forgetting the part about "A well-regulated militia.")

Immediately Archie runs to the studio to demand equal time, and, whaddya know, he becomes a TV star! I'm  not going to give the ending away, but the show is as timely now as it was back then. Check your local listings for "All In The Family" (I believe it's rated TV-PG for language.) and CLICK IT!

Speaking of  equal time,

MOM (Starring Allison Janney and Anna Faris, TV-14, Mondays 9:30 PM ET, CBS)

I say "equal time" because two blogs ago,  I reviewed DADS, which I  hated, and the show I am about to review is one about the other side of the parental equation, and I think it's the best to come out of the mind of Chuck Lorre, who gave the world TWO AND A HALF MEN, GRACE UNDER FIRE, THE BIG BANG THEORY, MIKE AND MOLLY, and the famous end-of-show "vanity cards" which  could be considered mini-blogs.

Anna Faris, whom I've always loved because she plays smart girls who just HAPPEN to be sexy, is Christy, a single mom with a degree in psychology who tries to stay above water as a waitress AND wrestles with her alcoholism. She's doing her dangdest to get her life on track, when who does she meet at an AA meeting but her OWN mom,  the talented Allison Janney. There's an expression  many of use, "OMG, I'm turning into my mom/dad!" This show addresses this problem  in a very funny and often very sophisticated way. CLICK IT!

THE CRAZY ONES,  which airs on the same network on Thursday nights at 10 PM ET and is also rated TV-14? Not so much.  It seemed like a good idea to have Robin Williams return to network television and bring Sarah Michelle Gellar (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, the Scooby-Doo movies) with him and repurpose the working title of the classic 1997 Apple spot that praises "the crazy ones"  such as  Albert Einstein,Jim Henson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,but the execution falls flat. David E. Kelley was at his peak with such shows as "Ally McBeal" ("Felicity" and "Lizzie McGuire"are just two shows inspired by that 90's classic.) and "Boston Legal,"but,  except for Kelly Clarkson's very heartfelt reading of the 1972 classic McDonald's "You Deserve A Break Today" jingle,  (Seriously!) this sitcom about a father-daughter ad agency doesn't have enough "com" to hold my interest. (Note to McCorporate, Scrap that "I'm lovin' it!" campaign and reinstate the classic campaign with that Kelly jingle. My trainer isn't buying how you burger guys are trying to appeal to contemporary sensibilities!) Other than that Kelly song, I deserve a break, David. The rest of you, KICK IT!

And, last, but by no means least...

MARVEL'S  AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (Starring Clark Gregg TV-14,Tuesdays 8;00 PM, ABC)

As any Marvelite worth his salt knows, S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Supreme Headquarters of the International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division, but this new ABC effort makes S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for great television.Don't expect Captain America, Thor, Black Widow,  Iron Man, or the Hulk to pop up, even though this story rises from the ashes of the Avengers movie. Gregg reprises his role as Agent Phil Coulson, who faked his own death in the movie, and he creates a new team that James Bond would want to work with. (There is ONE paranormal, but don't expect him to become a full-on super guy.) 9/11 made us  recognize the importance of the ordinary citizen who puts on the blue of the police or the green of the military. S.H.I.E.L.D. makes  us  recognize the importance of ordinary Joes and Janes who can't outrun a speeding bullet, overpower a locomotive, or leap tall buildings at a single bound, but who work in the  shadow of some of the world's most fantastic characters. If you're a Marvel fan or a fan of Bond or U.N.C.L.E., CLICK IT!

Bye, Buckaroos!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Best And Worst of Humanity

1) (tie) CANADA AND SERBIA Welcome back to the Blog!
3) MARIANO RIVERA During his eighteen-year tenure, this 43-year old closing pitcher for the New York Yankees from Panama City,Panama has been as much a part of the 27-Time World Champions as the Pinstripes themselves.Mo, as his friends call him, is the proud recipient of five AL Rolaids Relief  Man Awards and three DHL Express Delivery Man of the Year Awards, as well as five World Series Championships.When the Yankee Stadium DJ plays "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, the other team has to change the game so Mariano won't "put them to sleep." Not only is Mariano part of the Yankees' "Core Four," (also comprised of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, and Jorge Posada) but he is also a major player off the field with his Mariano Rivera Foundation helping kids pursue their diamond dreams. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and today, Mariano was honored by the team, fans, and city he loves as he moves ever closer to retirement.Exit Sandman and cue the applause.You're one of the good ones, Mo, and we'll miss you!


I'm not going to be flip the way Keith Olbermann has been known to with his "Worst Person in Sports" on his ESPN show. I was a witness to terrorism on 9/11/01, and, as longtime readers of Ye Olde Blogge know, I'm NOT going to move on. But, yesterday morning, when I was watching NBC 10 (WCAU-TV Philadelphia) on the computer and getting ready for my upcoming trip, I thought the anchor had too many Schmidt's brewskis the night before because she MEANT to talk about a gunman in a mall in Paoli (a Philly suburb) and it came out "Nairobi!" Before I started jumping to conclusions about a mall Santa with issues or a food court worker who wanted to shake his boss up and down until the money fell out, it sank in: SHE MEANT NAIROBI and this was no laughing matter.This was Al-Qaeda's (or rather, one of their splinter group's) doing and they targeted the Israeli-owned high-end Westgate shopping center in Nairobi,Kenya.
This is proof that terrorism is alive and well and we must NOT let our guard down or be lulled into a false sense of security.

You may have heard it before, but you'll hear it from me now, or regret not hearing it later: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Tell a uniformed Police Officer or call 911 (or any similar number.)
We don't want any more 9/11s, Sandy Hooks, or Westgates. We want to enjoy our God-given freedom and live our lives in peace. (My Canadian readers will be happy to know the CBC reports  most of the hostages are free.)

See you Friday!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stevie In Front of The TV: Brooklyn Nine-Nine,Dads, and The Great Gatsby

THE GREAT GATSBY, Now Available on DVD, Blu-Ray HDDVD, and On Demand. (Check Your Service Provider)  Starring Leonardo diCaprio, Toby Maguire, Isla Fisher, and Carey Milligan. Based on the novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald, Directed by Baz Luhrman, Rated R

It may sound like plagarism, but at this point, I would like to  recap a review of Peter Bogdanovich's  adaptation of the same book,  as  reported by the legendary film critic Gene Shalit on the TODAY show's Critics' Corner segment.

The review opened with a 20's-inspired title card reading THE GREAT GATSBY. Gene shook his head.

The title card was altered to read THE GOOD GATSBY. Again, Gene shook his  head.

THE FAIR GATSBY? Another head shake.

THE MEDIOCRE GATSBY? Another head shake.

Historical accuracy was eschewed in favor of journalistic accuracy as a  title card inspired by the CinemaScope logo proclaimed:


After which Gene smiled and applauded. Geno, wherever you are, I concur with you, only this time, the object of my objection is the 2013 Jay-Z/Baz Luhrman version. The  lowlight of this movie is a tie between Jay's unabashedly hip-hop autobiography "Izzo/H.O.V.A" and his  otherwise perfect wife Beyonce's roaring 20's version of her own "Crazy In Love." Did I say ROARING 20's? SNORING 20's and BORING 20's are more like it. KICK IT!

And now for something completely different, as in,  better:

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, Tuesday 8:30 PM ET,TV-14 (FOX) Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews,Andre Braugher

In the world of television, two of the most popular prime-time genres are the workplace comedy and the police procedural. This is  a story of what happens when these two genres collide.

Former SNL cast member is Andy Samberg is Lt. Jake Peralta, a detective working out of the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn. I won't say he's a loose cannon, but he makes such characters as  Columbo,Barretta, and Shadoe Stevens' famous character Max Monroe, who DID say HE was a Loose Cannon, seem absolutely normal by comparison! Peralta's life is OK, until Captain Ray Holt (Braugher) assumes command. Just like the AIRPLANE! movies, everybody plays their characters perfectly straight, although there ARE times when it's up to Andy to carry the show all by himself, but, nine times out of ten, he manages to succeed. No police show sacred cow goes unroasted, and there IS the occasional element of drama just to make things interesting. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is, far and away, the most arresting sitcom of the young TV season. CLICK IT!

About the only major thing wrong with BROOKLYN is its lead-in:

DADS, Tuesday 8:00 PM ET, TV-14

Unlike GATSBY, I won't embarass the cast by naming names, they already embarassed themselves by agreeing to appear in this insensitive, racist, sexist, UNFUNNY excuse for a comedy perpetrated by Seth McFarlane who created the WAY funnier FAMILY GUY,AMERICAN DAD! and THE CLEVELAND SHOW. (I WILL mention Brenda Song, better known as heirhead London Tipton from Disney's THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY and THE SUITE LIFE ON DECK,who totally demeans herself by posing as an anime character.) KICK IT!

TTYL! (Talk To You Later!)

P.S.: I will be in Philadelphia from November 18-November 25, so there either WILL or WON'T be a Blog that week. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 16, 2013

You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello

GOODBYE, Germany, HELLO, Russia and China, and welcome back.

GOODBYE, ex-Saturday Night Live cast members Bill Hader, Fred Armisen,  and  Jason Sudekis, HELLO new SNL WEEKEND UPDATE anchor Cecily Strong. The anchor desk has long been a launching pad for illustrious  comic careers, (Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Jimmy Fallon,Tina Fey,  Amy Poehler, and outgoing anchor Seth Meyers) and if the Great Gods of Nielsen are willing, this could be the STRONG start of something big!

GOODBYE, New York Yankees playoff hopes, HELLO New York Rangers pre-season. With  new players, a new coach and a newly refurbrished Madison Square Garden, the Broadway Blueshirts  have all the ingredients for a 20th Anniversary celebration of their last Stanley Cup. LET'S GO RANGERS! THIS is OUR YEAR!

GOODBYE,high-profile singing competitions, HELLO, shower  singers doomed to a lifetime of shower singing? The ratings for THE X-FACTOR USA do NOT look good,and Shakira and Usher  as coaches were not exactly the best ideas THE VOICE ever had. With Simon in trouble, could NBC walk up to The Donald and throw  his trademark line back at him? Just sayin'.

GOODBYE, wicked old witches with pointy hats, HELLO, "The Witches Of East End," starring Jenna Dewan-Tatum and coming to Lifetime just in time for Halloween on October 6. A similar series debuted on what is now The CW and developed a cult following for three very Charming ladies! (Including Alyssa Milano, recently seen as lawyer Savannah Davis on ABC's "Mistresses.") Will these Witches get Nielsen under THEIR spell? Stay tuned!

GOODBYE, impending marriage of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsley, HELLO, sanity.

GOODBYE, potential New York Mayor Bill Thompson, HELLO, potential New York Mayor Bill deBlasio! (This Blog, with a great deal of trepidation, endorses Bill deBlasio for Mayor.)

A melancholy GOODBYE to the victims of the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard in SE Washington. Heaven says HELLO to 12 new angels.

GOODBYE, until Friday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

We've Changed...For The Better?

First of all, I'd like to welcome China back to the festivities.(BTW,the closest thing I found to the "supermarket in Old Peking" was  Carrefour, which is open in a few key shopping and financial districts in Beijing and Shanghai. If you live or work in those cities, or plan to visit, head over to Carrefour's international portal and search for the China button. I think it's safe to say you'll be glad you did, and just for the record, this is NOT a paid testimonial.)

Wednesday was September 11,2013,  the twelfth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States, and possibly the world. I was there,my friends.It all started when I made a delivery to a branch office of a major Japanese bank at One World Trade Center at 8:30 AM EST.I got a signature, said thank you, visited the facilities in the concourse and got ready to board the 1 to Houston Street, when BOOM! The first plane hit, and an FBI plainclothes agent ordered the Cortlandt Street station evacuated. We saw the pyrotechnics, and we were  all casual about it, like ANY Noo Yawker, just chatting and saying, "How YOU doin'?" We all thought the pilot was drunk, and this  was an airborne replay of the Exxon Valdez with the poor shnook winning himself an all-expense trip to the Steel Bar Hotel, but another plane hit the second tower, and I bolted from the scene like a deer. It was all too clear...THIS WAS NO ACCIDENT.
Somebody had our number, and I came to the somewhat irrational conclusion that it was a certain Howard Klimberg who used to tease  me in grade school. Back then, I was  worried Howard would be the next Lee Harvey Oswald or worse, the next Adolf Hitler. A web search  revealed he lived in the Orlando suburbs, possibly in a trailer park, nowhere near the base of operations of the actual perpetrator, Osama bin Laden,who had an actual hatred for America and everything it stood for. That day was hardly a day for business as usual. The US flag became more visible,  our airwaves  were saturated with patriotic movies and songs,  and we appreciated our freedom more than any time since World War II.

Every 9/11,  when  we paused to remember the names of the nearly three thousand innocents who lost their lives on that terrible day at the WTC, at the Pentagon, and in a field in Shanksville, PA, a little bit of that day came through.  Morning zoo radio shows toned down the comedy (The morning show at New York's WPLJ was visibly angry at the Today show for interviewing Kris Jenner, the self-described "momager" of Klan Kardashian while its competitors were at the WTC covering the names ceremony.) and played appropriate music such as Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," Daryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten," and Enya's "Only Time." This 9/11,it was almost like nothing happened. The headline on the front page of the New York Post read, "Sleazy come, sleazy go," a reference to the failed respective campaigns of Elliot (Client Number 9) Spitzer and Anthony (Carlos Danger) Weiner, the aforementioned morning show followed suit, almost nobody wore red,white and blue, and a distant relative of one of the victims used the names ceremony as a platform to speak out against a strike on Syria.

Sure, the downtown area, where this tragedy happened, has emerged like a phoenix, and despite the AIG/Lehman hiccup of five years ago, the economy as a whole has improved,but we've become stoic compared to 9/11 and the years directly after. A caller to a TV station in Scranton said it was the same old reading of the same old names over and over again. If this caller were a character on "The Office," it would be funny in a black humor kind of way,but it's all too sad. Remember what George Santayana said? "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." And don't even get me started on a golf course in Wisconsin that commemorated the day by offering a day of golf for $9.11!

I believe we should mark July 4th and September 11th the way Jews around the world, myself include, mark Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the former as a day of celebration, the way Thomas Jefferson intended, and the latter as a day to put aside the normal workaday routine and just reflect quietly on where we are as a nation, where we're going, and all those missed opportunities. THAT, not going about your business like almost nothing happened, is the best way to honor those 3000 people who slipped the surly bonds of Earth.

We've changed...and we haven't changed. Maybe we should treat 9/11 with more of the respect it so richly deserves. It's the American thing to do.

God Bless America, and Happy New Year.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Diamond and the Gridiron

WHAT IS UP WITH ISRAEL?!?! Just as   I welcome them aboard, THEY WALK RIGHT OUT THE DOOR WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(And those fickle Rooskis decided they didn't want any part of this blog either.Well,they know where they can put their borscht, Nutcracker Suite, and furry hats!) Welcome back, Serbia and Germany, and  I just hope you Serbians  like American football and baseball, because that's what I'm going to talk about today,and a shout-out to our soldiers, sailors,pilots and Marines protecting the peace on our bases in Germany.

This weekend marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the one-day playoff between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox historians will remember as the Boston Massacre,  because Bucky Dent, not known as a power hitter,knocked out a three-run homer that gave the Pinstripers a 3-2 lead over their Bostonian hosts, and redefined Dent in the eyes of Sox fans everywhere as "Bucky Frickin' Dent." (If I gave you the actual nickname, this place would be a parking lot!) Bucky was the honored guest at Yankees Radio Network FanFest at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on 46th Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan Saturday, and he signed autographs along with other Yankee greats. Corporate sponsors from the Yankees and their network were present, along with a Health and Wellness  Village. (A Health and Wellness Village at a Yankee event? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD?!? My thoughts on America's unhealthy obsession with health in a coming blog.) Unfortunately, despite the outpouring of support for our beloved Yanks at FanFest, they went on to lose to the "Sawx" on  their home turf in the Bronx.

This weekend also marked the start of the National Football League's regular season, and the second season of the new MetLife Stadium, the only professional sports stadium designed to the specifications of two rival sports teams, in this instance, the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. From 2000 to 2005,my game day ritual involved walking to the former General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street to watch CBS Sports' THE NFL TODAY, performed outside the CBS News studios. I had fun watching Jim Nantz and his team, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, and Mike Ditka (with too many names to mention coming in and going out in later years) preview the day's NFL action. (One year when THE NFL TODAY staged a tie-in with Warner Bros.' live-action/animated movie LOONEY TUNES:BACK IN ACTION, I thought it would be fun to send Jim a souvenir of Warner Bros. Park in Madrid, or,as it was then known, Warner Bros. Movie World, particularly an autograph from his "old friend" Bugs Bunny. One feature of the competing Disney Parks I've always found comforting is that when you shake hands with Mickey Mouse, it's like you've known him all your life, no matter where you meet him, California, Florida, Paris,ANYWHERE! Since Bugs has  been a fan fave for almost as long as Mick, I thought it would be a piece of carrot cake to ask the Madrid version  of Bugs if he could sign an autograph for my amigo Jim, (His handler screamed, "JEEM! JEEM!") but he signed it to  "Chim." Oh well!) There was just one drawback: The weather in late November, all of December, and January, when much of the football action happens, tends to get VERY,VERY COLD, especially here in New York City! Yesterday, I relieved the thrill of Sunday mornings past, minus the late season chill. (FOX plans to return to Times Square for the first New York-New Jersey Super Bowl. Thank you very little, guys.)  It was great seeing the entire FOX announce crew, Curt Menefee, Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, and NFL Insider Jay Glazer, live and in person, but after the leaked report that Bruno Mars ("Locked Out Of Heaven," "The Lazy Song," "When I Was Your Man," )would be the featured entertainment at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the build-up to the announcement seemed full of sound and fury, signifying nothing I didn't already know. When  FOX kicks off a season, be it football, FAMILY GUY or AMERICAN IDOL, they don't spare the horses! Interview guests included Robert diNiro, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, and Jets Head Coach  Rex Ryan, who went on to lead his boys to a brilliant last-second (LITERALLY!) upset victory against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ARGH! (That's what they were saying, not because they love to talk like pirates, but because we kicked their you-know-whats!) Unfortunately, our Giants were not so lucky
since they fell to the hometown Dallas Cowboys on the season  opener of NBC'S SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.  Oh well!

By the way, Lord, please forgive me for the sin that I am sinning against my beloved New York Yankees by listening to RG3's triumphant return to FedEx Field in DC as I  write this while listening to the Skins' Monday Night opener! (BTW, the current score is 10-7 Philadelphia as time ticks away in the first quarter. Speaking of Philly, Ye Blogmeister is going there next month. Stay tuned!)

Hope those of you who celebrate are continuing to enjoy your NewYear, and I'll talk to you this weekend!
Bye, Buckaroos!