Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman (1925 - 2008)

By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Legendary film star Paul Newman, whose brilliant blue eyes, good looks and talent made him one of Hollywood's top actors over six decades has died after a long battle with cancer, a spokesman said on Saturday.

He was 83, and he died on Friday night, said his Los Angeles-based spokesman Jeff Sanderson.

Newman appeared in some 60 movies, including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Hustler," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and "The Sting." He earned nine Oscar nominations for acting and won the best actor honor for 1986's "The Color of Money."

Famed for his philanthropy as well as his acting, Newman was married to Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward for more than 50 years, and had successful side careers as an auto racing driver and creator of a line of food products, Newman's Own, that bore his name and face on their labels.

The "Newman's Own Foundation," took profits from that company and sponsored numerous charitable organizations. Newman also founded his "Hole in the Wall" Camps, which provided fun summer breaks for children around the world suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

"Paul's Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all," Robert Forrester, vice-chairman of the Newman's Own Foundation, said in a statement.

Newman was born in a Cleveland suburb on Jan. 26, 1925, and was a Navy radio man in the Pacific during World War Two. Afterward, he went to Kenyon College in Ohio on a football scholarship but took up acting after being cut from the team because of a barroom brawl.

After his father's death, Newman helped run the family sporting goods store before heading to the Yale Drama School.

He ended up in New York, finding bit parts in TV and a Broadway role in "Picnic" in 1953. His first major movie role was portraying boxer Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." (Writing by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So I keep getting very irritated recently. I'm not savong money as fast as I would like. I feel like my progress to New York is stunted at the moment.

Then I try to remember that I've already come a long way. For example, I've been walking back and forth to work every day for the past few weeks. Now the bus only costs $1.60 for a one way trip, so it seems silly to avoid the bus to save money...until:

Cost of one bus ride: $1.60
Cost of trip (to and from work): $3.20
Cost of bus trips to work, one week: $16.00
Cost of bus trips, to work only, for one year: $832!!!

That's a chunk of change!

I also have quit smoking. This for me is a big shock. I didn't think I've ever be able to do it. And yet my last cigarette was Sunday. So let's see what I'm saving with quitting:

Average cigs smoked in one day: One pack
Average cost of pack: $4.50
Cost of smoking for one week: $31.50
Cost of smoking for one year: $1638.00

And that's low balling how much I spend - not counting lighters.

So I'm actually saving $2500 bucks a year this way, money that will go towards New York City.

I like that total a whole lot better.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pic(k) of the Day

7 Years Tribulation: 9117YL

Track listing:

1. Hunting for Witches - Bloc Party
2. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness - Smashing Pumpkins
3. My City of Ruins - Bruce Springsteen
4. Give Me Tired, Your Poor - James Horner
5. I Can't See New York - Tori Amos
6. Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
7. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen - Louis Armstrong
8. I Love New York - Madonna
9. The Long Road - Eddie Vedder
10. Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
11. Baby Won't You Please Come Home - Bessie Smith
12. Self Evident - Ani Difranco
13. Leaving On a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul, and Mary
14. See You In September - The Happenings
15. Fragile - Sting
16. Lost - Annie Lennox
17. Song For the Lonely - Cher
18. We'll Meet Again - Johnny Cash

Monday, September 8, 2008

1 Done - 9 to Go

I Deserve It

This guy was meant for me
And I was meant for him
This guy was dreamt for me
And I was dreamt for him

This guy has danced for me
And I have danced for him
This guy has cried for me
And I have cried for him

Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today

This guy has prayed for me
And I have prayed for him
This guy was made for me
And I was made for him

Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today

I have no regrets
There's nothing to forget
All the pain was worth it

Not running from the past
I tried to do what's best
I know that I deserve it

Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today

Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today

And I thank you

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pic(k) of the Day

Anita Page (1910 - 2008)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anita Page, an MGM actress who appeared in films with Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford and Buster Keaton during the transition from silent movies to talkies, has died. She was 98.

Page died in her sleep early Saturday morning at her home in Los Angeles, said actor Randal Malone, her longtime friend and companion.

Page's career, which spanned 84 years, began in 1924 when she started as an extra.

Her big break came in 1928 when she won a major role — as the doomed bad girl — in "Our Dancing Daughters," a film that featured a wild Charleston by Crawford and propelled them both to stardom. It spawned two sequels, "Our Modern Maidens" and "Our Blushing Brides." Page and Crawford were in all three films.

Read more here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pic(k) of the Day

I'm gonna go sleep on top of the dog house...

By Mike Barnes

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Bill Melendez, best known for bringing the Peanuts characters to life with such classics as "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," died Tuesday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. He was 91.

Melendez, the only animator permitted by Charles M. Schulz to work with the Peanuts characters, earned eight Emmy Awards, 17 Emmy nominations, one Oscar nomination and two Peabody Awards. He began his career at Disney and Warner Bros., working on classic characters at those studios, and spent more than 70 years in the entertainment industry.

Read more here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Movie Trailers Will Never Sound the Same

Voiceover Master Don LaFontaine has died. He was 68.

LaFontaine, known as the "King of Voiceovers," died Monday afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. LaFontaine's agent, Vanessa Gilbert, tells ET that he passed away following complications from Pneumothorax, the presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity, the result of a collapsed lung. The official cause of death has not yet been released.

Over the past 25 years, LaFontaine cemented his position as the "King of Voiceovers." Aside from being the preeminent voice in the movie trailer industry, Don also worked as the voice of Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, as well as for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and UPN, in addition to TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network. By conservative estimates, he voiced hundreds of thousands of television and radio spots, including commercials for Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Budweiser, McDonalds, Coke, and many other corporate sponsors.

He recently parodied himself on a series of national television commercials for Geico. At last count, he has worked on nearly 5000 films, including appearances as the in-show announcer for the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards. Based on contracts signed, he has the distinction of being perhaps the single busiest actor in the history of SAG. Don is survived by his wife -- singer/actress Nita Whitaker, and three children: Christine, Skye and Elyse.

Madonna - I Love New York

Pic(k) of the Day

Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin daughter has learned the truth at 17

From Dana Bash

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) -- John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, dealt with two startling disclosures Monday. She announced that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant and plans to keep the baby. And Palin has hired a lawyer as Alaska investigates the firing of her public safety commissioner.

Palin hired a lawyer three weeks ago to act on her behalf as state legislators investigate whether she may have abused her power in firing the state public safety commisioner for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper, CNN confirmed.

A report of findings of a legislative inquiry that began several weeks ago is expected to be released just days before Election Day.

Palin also revealed that her daughter Bristol is pregnant and will marry the baby's father.

John McCain was aware of Bristol Palin's pregnancy before he chose her mother for his running mate, a top adviser to the Republican presidential candidate said.

The adviser, Doug Holtz-Eakin, said Monday that Palin "was completely vetted by the campaign" before she was chosen.

"Sen. McCain knew this and felt in no way did it disqualify her from being vice president," said an aide who asked not to be named. "Families have difficulties sometimes and lucky for her she has a supportive family."

Read more here.

Ben Popken's Guide to Moving to NYC

First, ask yourself...

DO I REALLY NEED TO MOVE TO NEW YORK? Answering no to this is the easiest way to avoid the inevitable hassle and heartache of. New York City is a glittering emerald slut, full of potential and promise, but it can also be a total bitch. Nightlife is down ever since they enacted that cabaret law. The city's conduits of power are increasingly rusty and incestuous. Parts of the city are becoming, or already are, Disney versions of themselves, like the Lower East Side and Times Square, respectively. There's lots of other great cities in the world. The Bay Area has nicer weather. Philadelphia has dirt cheap rents. Even so, New York is awesome and is still the capital of the world for many a human endeavor. Let's move!

TAP PERSONAL CONTACTS. The easiest way to move to NYC is to have a friend, or a friend of a friend, who will let you crash in their apartment until you get your shit together. Be cool and offer to help out with rent as much as you can. If you're broke, maybe offer to clean up the apartment really nice all the time.

SCOPE OUT THE RENTAL MARKET. Determine where you would like to live and how much you can pay. Personal finance gurus recommend spending no more than 25% of your expected salary on rent. Realistically, you may have to spend up to 50%. But if you lock yourself into a high rent so you can live in "the cool spot" you may end up spending all your time inside your stupid little apartment cause you can never afford to go out. Think smaller and cheaper.

On this note, Brooklyn is a nice, cheaper-than-Manhattan place. Fort Greene and Carrol Gardens are good spots to look at in Brooklyn. Rents are relatively affordable, amenities are there, it's not too far from Manhattan, and they're fairly safe. Living near but not next to housing projects is a sure way to get more apartment for your money.

If you must live in Manhattan, Upper Upper West Side (past the 100's) has become affordable. There's places to be found on the more easternly points of the Lower East Side.

Cruise Craiglist for the going rates in your desired area(s) for 2+ roomies. Hone in what rent you think you're going to be paying each month. This number will rule your life.

SAVE Five times your expected monthly rent. To move into a lease, you will probably have to put up two month's rent + security deposit (usually another month's rent). There may even be a broker's fee, which is at least another month's rent. You will need the rest of the money to feed yourself and not feel like a loser. Stuff it in a high-yield online savings account, like HSBC or INGDirect.

DUMP YOUR JUNK. You probably don't need about 90% off what you own. Hold a yard sale. Donate. Digitize everything you don't need a real-world copy of. Put stuff in local storage. Throw it away. Whatever you do, just get rid of it. A good goal is reducing your belongings to an essential wardrobe, books, and your "tools of the trade." For most people this means a computer. For you it may be a welding torch. Shipping costs. Space in NYC is at a premium. Less stuff means less stuff you don't have room for.

LINE UP JOB PROSPECTS. Send out feelers and resumes before you arrive. Tap those personal connections. Let people know you're coming. If you went to college, call up the alumni office and see if they can hook you up with former students in New York. has never done anything for us. Craigslist has. Don't get discouraged if people don't initially seem that interested in you. Tons of people say they're going to move to New York but never do, so NYC veterans learn to take a policy of, "I'll see it when I see it." That's okay, just start cranking the wheel on getting a cash flow going as early as possible.

MOVE. Go Greyhound. Fly coach. Drive yourself. U-Hauls and the like can be expensive over long distances, so its cheaper to ship your stuff freight with a trucking company like ROADWAY and then get to NYC by other means. If you've already reduced everything to two pieces of luggage, bonus.

Once you're here...

DO MASLOW. Take care of your pyramid of needs, working from the bottom up. If you have a choice between doing something at the top of this pyramid, versus something at the bottom, do the thing at the bottom. Not taking care of your needs at the bottom will thwart your attempts to do the ones at the top.

At the same time, maybe you will have to eat only one box of pasta a day so you can afford to go out for social drinks. That's fine, just don't make it a habit, or you may end up begging for quarters in Union Square.

GET A JOB. Even if it sucks. You need to make money just to tread water. Our first job was as a bike messenger. In winter. Saner folk go the temping route. Atrium is a fantastic temping agency. Tell them Ben Popken sent you. If you refer people to them who stay on for a few months, you get a small finder's fee.

LEARN TO ENJOY SOLITUDE. It's easy to feel lonely in a city of a gazillion people. That's because you are alone and no one wants to talk to you. Be prepared to have no new friends for at least a year. Be prepared for people who say, "Oh, we'll totally hang out once you're here," and then stand you up even after you set a date. Everyone's got crazy schedules here so "hang out with the new guy" may rank pretty low. Be glad people do this, so you can scratch 'em off your list before they have time to really disappoint you.

BECOME AWESOME. Whatever your deal is, be it your job or your hobby, get really good at it. You will have lots of free time to work on this because you have no friends. Socializing is often centered around people who have "your thing" in common, so it helps to be dedicated and skilled in it. This is for both personal satisfaction, and that other people will take you seriously if you're taking your thing seriously.

TUNNEL. Use the resources of your current crappy job to get you your next, better job. With the money from bike messengering, we bought clothes that made us look presentable for the temp agency. Between directing phone calls at the temp job, we blasted out hundreds of resumes that eventually landed us a job at an online marketing firm. While at the online marketing firm, we started an advertising blog on the company's behalf that ended up getting us a job with Gawker. Now we're tunneling towards building a six-month emergency cushion and doing more personal creative projects.

DON'T MOVE BACK. A lot of people quit New York less than a year after moving. That's a personal choice, but if you're trying to be in New York, obviously leaving it is not a viable solution. If things get so hard you want to move back, ask for help from family and friends. Evaluate the choices you're making, the things you're buying, and see where you can cut back. Realize you're not going to get that super-star job right off the bat (see: BECOME AWESOME). Stiffen that upper lip. Or cry. Whatever you need to do, just don't move back. Life is hard. Welcome to it.


Oh my...

The massive failure of the US media to report truthfully is sobering. As former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts says, Americans have no awareness of the calamity that their government’s pursuit of hegemony is bringing to themselves and to life on earth. What is wrong with Americans?