Monday, June 29, 2009

The double-whammy of Farrah Fawcett and then Michael Jackson got me considering if MJ's demise was the biggest celebrity death of our generation. It's easily had more of an impact than Kurt Cobain or Princess Di. Andy Kaufman, by the way, is still alive.

For me -- more of a punk/heavy metal aficionado than a pop fan -- I was particularly saddened when Joe Strummer of the Clash died a few years ago. I listened to London Calling a billion times, but never owned Thriller or any Jacko album. Still, musical tastes aside, the effect of The Gloved One was tremendous -- sure I could headbang, but I secretly always wanted to moonwalk.

I remember as a kid when Elvis passed away, and for the older folks it was a big deal, esp. because the King was only 42. He was just a name I heard on those bad K-tel type commercials, where they'd scroll down the song titles and highlight 'em if they were featuring video of the fat bastard crooning in Vegas. At the time, I didn't know the difference between him and Englebert Humperdink and Bobby Vinton.

This weekend, people were wondering who was the next star to pass away, and we all started playing the name game. I pondered whose death would have an even greater impact that Michael Jackson.

It couldn't be someone old and legendary -- say, if Dustin Hoffman or Clint Eastwood died, even if they're in good health. Sure, those guys have made tons of iconic movies but those guys are over 70. Paul Newman died recently and it was sad but you didn't hear everyone remarking that a part of their childhood was gone.

And if it's someone young and upcoming, it'd be tragic for sure, but the world would keep turning. Think about Heath Ledger or Aaliyah.

No, it'd have to be someone who's already an international icon but far from done creating movies or music or whatever, and controversy. Like Tom Cruise or Madonna. David Letterman, maybe?

Okay, this is too morbid. Besides, I had brought work home this weekend and had to get to it.

This piece I was working on was about a bunch of guys filming a prank they played on their friend. To get their buddy to sit in front of the camera unsuspectingly, they had him perform his impression of TV pitchman Billy Mays.

I was trying to figure out how to write this up, but decided to procrastinate by checking out the latest developments surrounding MJ's autopsy. Checked TMZ and there it was -- Billy Mays had died. Man, that's just friggin' weird.

Okay, I need to stop thinking about celebrities for a while...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So busy yesterday, I didn't have time to include a day 5 entry for Week at Bernie's. But now, it's time for...


I've discovered that having a puppy is a great way to meet the neighbors. Although we've lived on this street for 2 years now, and I'm out and about almost every day, it wasn't until I was accompanied by Bernie that everyone's come up to us to chat.

This is mostly great -- people are friendly, think Bernie's adorable and I've even found us a dog walker this way. The downside is that everyone and their brother offers unsolicited training advice. And it's either painfully repetitive (yes, I have tried to lure the dog with treats and his toys -- Bernie is either too savvy to our ploys or dain-bramaged to maintain interest), or completely contradictory. I've been told that he's too young for everything we're doing... or we should've started weeks ago. This-and-that food is good for him, but the alternatives are poochy poison. The Dog Whisperer is a godsend; Cesar Millan makes Michael Vick look like Dr. Doolittle.

Of course, we may bring half of this on ourselves. Adelphia and I managed to get away from Bernie to grab drinks with friends, and spent the entire time talking about our mutual pet pooches' peculiarities. Another person came in late to the conversation and tried to join in by asking us how many kids we had.

Then again, there are some unequivocally annoying bow-wow buttinskies. During our walks, we had the occasional person yell things out his window at us. My wife heard someone shout "Don't pet him!" when she was trying to reward the puppy for making it twenty paces without distraction. And then there was time Bernie's whimpering fit elicited a "Shut that fuckin' dog up!"

Ahh, it's like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 4

Bernie's three phases of walking:

1. Nope. Not going anywhere. Don't care if you'll make me sit here all day and ignore my cries for attention. I'll get plenty of love from the neighbors passing by. Now, 'scuse me, gotta get my cute on. *whimper, whimper*

2. Yay! Home! Screw the leash training, it's dinnertime!

3. Oh wait, that means that Purina crap. Can't be as tasty as this flower...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 3

A few days after we first brought Bernie home, he weighed 6.2 pounds. Last night, he tipped the scale at 9.4 pounds.

That's 3.2 lbs., or a 50% increase, in 10 days. So if he continues at that rate, he'll be over 30 pounds in a month, over 200 by the end of the summer, and come Thanksgiving, expect to see Bernie vs. Godzilla, and the winner gets to devour all of Los Angeles.

Okay, maybe not, but I don't know how much longer I can let this ever-growing fur-ball lounge on top of me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 2

Raising a puppy is hard work, but some of it has been surprisingly easy. House-training, for example, has been a breeze. Leash-training is a little more challenging. And then there's getting him to stop nipping. We're working on this, but it requires a lot of patience, knowing it's natural for a teething Labrador who's also part terrier... or T-rex, I dunno.

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Perfect puppy?....................Or is he...?......................the hound from hell?!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Even though I'm back working the TV gig, that doesn't mean I won't blog about my puppy again. In fact, I plan to make these next several days...


But since I'm pretty busy, today I'll just take a quick moment to explain his name -- it's not an homage to the late Bernie Mac or that schmo Madoff, but in fact, to the great Yankee centerfielder, Bernie Williams.

My wife denies it, but she's just bitter that her Mets got destroyed 15-0 in yesterday's Subway Series game. And no matter what Adelphia says, our dog is not named after Bernie Koppell, a.k.a. "Doc" from The Love Boat.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Man, the excuses we throw out there to explain the lack of blogging. For me, it was enjoying my new marriage, then my long hours at work, and honestly, lately, by the time I get to write about something, my wife has already twittered it to nearly everyone I know. Most people are already privy to the fact that someone busted the window to Adelphia's car in order to steal her iPod... which we learned is part of a local crime spree on small electronics left in vehicles. If you haven't heard about this... well, take your GPS with you when you park in Santa Monica.

And my new concern is that even if it is old news, now I'll probably devote every post to our newest addition, Bernie. Look at this guy. Can you blame me if I wind up turning this place into a puppy blog?

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