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Steely Geena Davis, Sneaky Donald Sutherland

    "Commander In Chief" still seems to be using off-the-shelf plot devices (the First Gentleman wants to do manly jobs and not First Ladyish jobs; the alienated teenage daughter drops a guilt-bomb on her Mom right before Mom goes on national television; the cute younger daughter and her dog can't see Mom without an appointment), and at some point Geena Davis needs to learn that great presidential hobby: ignoring the nation's business to watch sports on TV. This goes back at least to the days of James Madison, who was obsessed with hockey. Very few people realize that Lincoln loved the baseball playoffs at this time of year. Fillmore was notoriously mad for NASCAR. We need a scene in which President Geena is getting briefed on some real yawner of a piece of legislation, like Medicaid reform, and suddenly plops herself in a recliner, grabs the remote, and says, "Ah, forget the Poor, there's a ballgame on!" Instead she's a 6-foot virtue machine, a tower of distaff power, and has no known hobbies other than Doing What's Right For America.

   As previously noted in this space, "Commander" can be heavy handed, and the pilot leaned heavily on the novelty of a female president. Despite the mewling here, it is the big dramatic hit of the Fall season. It's watchable. That is saying a lot. Scripted television is mostly sub-watchable. "Commander" isn't actually as good, certainly not as quirky and clever, as the show that follows, "Boston Legal," in which last night we saw William Shatner pull out a rifle and shoot a salmon (there was even a throwaway Klingon joke). But although James Spader and Shatner are amusing, they're not big-time movie stars like Geena Davis and that old devil, Donald Sutherland.

    Sutherland is one of the great hams of the acting business. He plays Nathan Templeton, the Speaker of the House. He's the sneaky, sexist nemesis of President Mackenzie Allen (Davis). In the first episode, Sutherland sabotaged the teleprompter when Davis had to address the nation (such a meanie!). In the second episode he had a scheme to get the president to select a vice-president who would be tarnished by scandal. He is all games, tricks, evil smiles, and back-of-the-class boy stuff. Last night they showed him saying something along the lines of, "The way to handle women is to remember they're not men!" Soon we'll probably hear him say, "The thing about women is, you have to slap 'em around a little!" But he's such a good actor, you'd watch him even if he were hawking dog biscuits during the commercial break.

    The first female president, meanwhile, once again has found a nifty use of the American military that does not involve the shedding of blood. In the first episode, the military rescued a woman condemned to death in Nigeria. Last night the military arrested the dictator of a Latin American nation, helped restore democracy, and destroyed the country's cocaine labs. If we're going to really believe in this president, one of these weeks she needs to call the generals into the Oval Office and say, "Cut the crap, I want you to get out there and start KILLING people."

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 12, 2005; 7:35 AM ET
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Next: More Fiction in the New York Times


Before you ask, yes, I'll blog on the Hobbit story by Gugliotta, but it'll be at least a couple of hours.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2005 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Heck, this president could go out and play ball, not just watch it. Round up her League of Their Own pals put on the skirts and hit the diamond. She would be the Big Unit lite.

Posted by: LB | October 12, 2005 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes they discover hair on mammoth remains. If they find hairy feet on these hobbit like creatures, that would clinch it.

Posted by: LB | October 12, 2005 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Having watched CiC for three episodes now, I'd say that that the past two episodes (and perhaps even the first) lack "creative tension." Next Tuesday, I may make other plans.

My husband is now starting to become a "Boston Legal" regular, a show that never pulled me in. Wednesday night's "Invasion" is more interesting and fun than CiC, but I fear that soon it may get too wacky and implausible, a la the old "Twin Peaks."
Note to peanutgallerymember: What is it tht you propose that we ask ExecEd Len Downie, Jr. during today's WaPo chat's?
The history of the peanut was undertold yesterday--check out the Smithsonian book, "Seeds of Change."
More old business: Since I went to see Sacramento author/writer Richard Rodriguez speak yesteraday at a local college on "The Browning of America," I couldn't boodle.

Just wanted to mention my homemade pancake recipe made with a secret ingredient--peanut oil, not a heavy oil that would overwhelm the rest of the ingredients, but a light peanut oil like Hain's.

The pancakes from my kitchen are so light and fluffy and flavorful, that after just a few forkfuls, the taste sends men into labored, heavy breathing, before carrying them into groans of unrepressed pleasure. (One can also creatively play with the pancakes' toppings.)

Old men, middle-aged men, young men, after downing a few morsels, have been known to fall out of their chairs, throw their arms around my knees and skirt, and beg--yes, beg--me for the recipe for their mothers, wives, daughters, lovers, significant others, and girlfriends. Very much a "Como Agua Para Chocolate" moment. Peanut oil.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | October 12, 2005 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I have to know - how was the porching hour? I did not attend for fear of contaminating my fellow Boodlers with the nasty creeping crud I caught from my daughter (who is in daycare). I hope y'all appreciate that.

Posted by: pls | October 12, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Linda, you are a hoot. And now I want a pancake.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I still maintain that CiC is another form of Judging Amy, without all the side stories. The growing rivalry between First Hubby and Jim The Chief of Staff has become trite and predictable. It's still worth watching, but only because I'm curious to see what happens for the next episode or so.

I wish I had a TIVO so I could watch My Name is Earl, which is pure wicked fun.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, hey so what is the pancake recipe, anyway? No fait teasing

Posted by: LP | October 12, 2005 9:59 AM | Report abuse

ugh. "fair"

Posted by: LP | October 12, 2005 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Dana Milbank to the rescue! Geena Davis should be scripted to--BLINK more often!!!
(Shake, rattle, and roll?)

But this much could be seen watching the tape of NBC's broadcast during Bush's 14-minute pre-sunrise interview, in which he stood unprotected by the usual lectern. The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts. Bush has always been an active man, but standing with Lauer and the serene, steady first lady, he had the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere.

The fidgeting clearly corresponded to the questioning. When Lauer asked if Bush, after a slow response to Katrina, was "trying to get a second chance to make a good first impression," Bush blinked 24 times in his answer. When asked why Gulf Coast residents would have to pay back funds but Iraqis would not, Bush blinked 23 times and hitched his trousers up by the belt.

When the questioning turned to Miers, Bush blinked 37 times in a single answer -- along with a lick of the lips, three weight shifts and some serious foot jiggling.

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 10:02 AM | Report abuse

In that Today Show interview, Matt Lauer actually did a nice job of putting Bush on a warmish seat. I half expected the president to tell Lauer, "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The talk at the Porching Hour was that Joel really wanted to watch the Nova HistoDramatization.

Several of us wanted to watch it, too. Still, I can definitely say that I had more fun at the BPH than I would have watching anything on TV, and I have the headache to prove it. Ok, and my face hurts from smiling so much, and I have a little stitch in my side from laughing a lot.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I tried to watch CinC last night, I really tried. I gave up halfway through because it felt overly contrived. Geena Davis could be good in this role, she really could, but the writing and the stories are terrible. It makes season 7 of the West Wing look fantastic in comparison.

Posted by: alexandra | October 12, 2005 10:17 AM | Report abuse

oh tell us, did big hair hold? safety pin beacons attract attention? lurkers reveal themselves? hands on table? there must be a reason no one's talking.

Posted by: temecula | October 12, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

LindaLoo: yes, please do share the recipe! Your description of Bush jiggling, wriggling and blinking reminds me of my son at age 3-4 when I confronted him about sneaking cookies. Despite Oreo crumbs all about his little mouth and in between his teeth, he still denied eating them. Marched him to the mirror, "Look there son, aren't those Oreo cookies crumbs in your teeth?" "Uh huh." (blinkblinkblinkblinkblink) "So, you were eating cookies, right?" "Huh uh." (jigglejigglejigglejiggle). "Son, look me in the eye." (jigglewriggleblink) and unlike Bush, he eventually told the truth. "Well, maybe I did eat just one."

Posted by: Nani | October 12, 2005 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Einstein's Big Idea" was worth watching-- made all those darn physics experiment clear... it actually covered a lot of scientists:
The epic experiments with electromagnetism by Faraday;
The adventurous life of Madame Du Chatlet during the Sun King's reign who translated Newton and found a mistake in his F=MV theory, read Lebitniz, agreed with him, and did an experiment to prove it. She appended her translation to include the real formula F=MV^2... more known as F=MA

Also: Antoin Lavoiser's dual career as tax collector of Paris and chemist, proving that mass remains constant through all chemical reactions. His career and life ended on the gullotine.

Einstein's research, brief bio, and then the rough times of Lise Meitner, who split the atom and had her credit stolen by her partner, Otto Hahn.

Pretty good stuff on how we came to understand that energy and mass seems to be constant, and how E=MC^2 affected scientific thought.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2005 10:23 AM | Report abuse

bc, at least give us the roll call of attendees--

Joel, the hobbit story is perfect for the Achenblog, science and literature in one! I'm looking forward to your take on it.

Posted by: Reader | October 12, 2005 10:23 AM | Report abuse

a good time was had by all, but I am doing some digital touchups before releasing the embedded floor-up and frontal video. sound track was clear.

Posted by: mostlyjerking | October 12, 2005 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, sounds like "Einstein's Big Idea" covered a lot of the same ground as David Bodanis' "History of the World's Most Famous Equation" (apologies if I have that title incorrect, that was off the top of my head).

I've been keeping an eye on that Hobbit story since I first heard of it a couple of months ago. Many cultures have legends of "little people"; between these finds and the existence of native tribes of people significantly shorter than their western counterparts in Africa, Austrailia, and central America, it makes me wonder if there were more travel between continents than we are led to believe in western historical texts.

And Columbus Day was just this past Monday...

As to who turned out for the BPH, I suspect that mo will be posting photographic evidence soon.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

SCC: please to insert the word "earlier" after the word "continents" for 10:49:08.



Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 10:52 AM | Report abuse


Bodanis was the main presenter in the program and it was based on his book. It was a good program, although I'm not sure I like these historical re-creations that PBS is doing now. The dialog and settings just seem way too contrived for me - kinda like what Hollywood was doing back in the '40s. Or maybe I'm just a talking heads (also Talking Heads) kind of guy.

The attendees last night were the same group as the first one - bc, jw, TA, mo, omnigood (in his various disguises), Tom Fan (and all of her various disguises), and pj. It was a very enjoyable time with lots of good food, drink, and conversation.

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Joel's comments about enjoying Donald Sutherland hawking dog biscuits...he's just so mean and squirrely as Templeton on Commander in Chief I can't help squirm as Geena's President Allen has to deal with him and think a vicarious "up yours" when Geena manages to overcome his efforts to make her life difficult. I think the show is good, definitely watchable, but I'll be glad to see the episodes in the future that Stephen Bochco is involved with. Perhaps the writing and the plot lines will be a bit more intriguing. My husband calls the show "West Wing for chicks." I have an on again off again relationship with West Wing, so I don't know, but I will probably continue to watch CiC.

Linda Loomis, I second, third, fourth, etc., the request for your pancake recipe. I'm getting hungry...

Have a nice day all!

Posted by: Erica Snipes | October 12, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Did it again and forgot to include a link. Here's the PBS Web page for the Einstein program last night:

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, pj.

I liked that book enough to read it twice.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 11:06 AM | Report abuse

On a related note, did anyone notice how George Will dipped into the Simon Winchester till for his column yesterday?


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The villain in CiC is named Templeton? Remember Templeton the Rat, in Charlotte's Web? He is heartless, motivated only by self-interest, has no conscience. I could see Donald Sutherland in the role.

Posted by: Reader | October 12, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh, yes, and sneaky. Templeton the Rat is sneaky.

Posted by: Reader | October 12, 2005 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Reader = Dreamer

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2005 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The fix is in for CiC. Bochco definitely has what the show needs, Erica. All will be well ... once Dennis Franz joins the cast.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 12, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

No, Reader does *not* equal Dreamer. As I may have mentioned before, I have only three handles: Achenfan, Tom fan, and Dreamer.

Posted by: Dreamer | October 12, 2005 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Great! Dennis Franz will play the press secretary, who occasionally takes nettlesome journalists aside and "teaches them some sense" in the cloakroom.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 11:30 AM | Report abuse

just asking as a new person: but why three???

Posted by: temecula | October 12, 2005 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Today's blotter:

``"Commander In Chief" still seems to using''

``"Commander" isn't as actually as good''

Posted by: Typo Police | October 12, 2005 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Could be that JA is so enamored with the show he just loses his senses whenever the subject comes up.

Posted by: mdmbkr | October 12, 2005 11:36 AM | Report abuse

yep a great time again at the 2nd official bph. my head was hurting this am as well (and i was late to work!)... good food and good drinks but FANTASTIC company! cowtown, you'd be proud of me - i couldn't finish my burger but they wouldn't let me box it to take out (the mgr doesn't let ppl take home happy hour food) so i snuck it out - i hate to throw away food that an animal had to die for! and also TA made me do it!!!! here's the link to the photos:

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 11:50 AM | Report abuse

That's right, you tell'em, Dreamer. Remember I was here earlier asking for BPH info? Hint, that means I'm from out of town? You can't get on the investigation team with that kind of shoddy observation skills.

Dreamer, I take it as a compliment, assuming that anonymous noticed I don't make a lot of spelling/grammar errors. I taught fifth grade, once upon a time...

Posted by: Reader | October 12, 2005 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Tuesday night is Gilmore Girls night for me. And The Office. Dwight Schrute is freaking hilarious! Then I watch Gilmore Girls again because luckily I have 3 WBs and so it's on 3 times on Tuesdays. Ah, the witty banter. And Kirk doing gross interpretive dances. It doesn't get better. Then when the seasons come out I buy them and watch it all again. It's really the only show on television that I can't miss. That and Rome, the new HBO series. Good show.

All of this was to say that I didn't watch CiC and I don't plan to, ever.

I need to go look up this Hobbit story now. Just got into work so I have yet to catch up on the news.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Awww! It looks like it was so fun! Next one, I'm there. Maybe. We'll see. I'm crossing my fingers. Why can't we have it in Ohio?

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 11:57 AM | Report abuse

oh, and i tried to start a food fight but i guess mccormick and smicks is too fancy shmancy for a food fight - i did throw a french fry at jw!

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Sara, I'm not a regular Gilmore Girls watcher (I'm a guy, hello?), but I do enjoy the pastiche of cultural references tossed in there.

There was one with a reference to The Monolith from 2001, and the whole family just looked at me.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I know who you are, Reader -- I know you on both a first-name and a last-name basis, back from the early days of the 'boodle (before it was even *called* the 'boodle). I recall your sharp investigative skills in figuring out my three identities long before anyone else did. I wasn't sure whether you wanted to keep your identity hidden, since you once said your old handle would never again be seen on the Achenblog, so I said as little as possible.

And yes, I too take it as a compliment to be mistaken for you.

Posted by: Dreamer | October 12, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So sorry I missed the BPH. I'll be there next time, for sure.

Let's make it at the end of the month rather than the middle (no work then, more free time for eating, drinking and socializing).

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Reader, I didn't know you were a teacher. I admire teachers. I wouldn't have the patience to control and teach a roomful of kids, so anyone who does have that patience gets a gold star in my book.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

More disconcerting than the CiC show last night were the ads during the CiC breaks. One was for a "mommy" product, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. (Should I have taken notes?)

One ad definitely was for lipstick, and I don't recall whether the 30-second spot was for Maybelline or L'Oreal. So what's the pitch? One can't possibly be a decent Commander in Pink unless one is wearing the latest shade of Luscious Rose? Or, if one doesn't have the chutzpah or cojones to make CIC--the rest of us lowly peon women--then it's/life's O.K., just buy Madly Mauve lipgloss and all your troubles will be over?

The subliminal message is the show is targeted toward women and men will never take the show or a real woman as commander in chief seriously? And no apologies to Joel or the CiC drama scriptwriters, but, as Joel jokes, Donald Sutherland may soon be hawking dog biscuits during the commercial breaks if the plot lines don't dramatically improve--real soon!

I think a TV show is only as good as the scriptwriters (not the actors), just as I believe the strength of nation is told through the story of its weakest citizen.

***Now, on to that pancake recipe...You don't think I'd be dumb enough to give it away on first request do you? Why that would be just as dumb as Duke the dog sharing the Jay Bush family's "secret" bean recipe. I'm not telling and Hondo isn't either. However, that said, there is a similar recipe in Susan Hermann Loomis' "Farmhouse Cookbook." It uses peanut oil, but mine is wwwaaaaayyyyyyy better. Just ask the men....

Posted by: Linda Loomis | October 12, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And mo has a better arm than Mike Mussina, hitting jw on her first pitch.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh who was it that did the voice of Templeton the Rat in CW? He also played Ann Margaret's dad in Bye Bye Birdie. Name's on the tip - really funny guy.
Donald Sutherland is a good baddie, but can be a sweetie too. The vulnerable detective who falls in love with the prostitute in Klute and the heartbroken dad in Ordinary People (Mary Tyler Moore's character was as cold and hard as dry ice. She deserved an Oscar).

Posted by: Nani | October 12, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

bc, I'm surprised you even sat down long enough for Gilmore Girls to notice and retain the references. Like you said, it's not really a guy kind of show. Though I think there are aspects of it that appeal to both sexes, it's mainly geared toward women, especially mothers and daughters. This is why my mother and I enjoy it so much. For awhile it really paralleled our lives, even our conversation topics. It was kind of weird. It's still kind of weird how "Rory" I can be and how "Lorelai" my mother can be at times.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm kicking myself for forgetting to take a look at omni's goofy sneakers.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe mo got a picture of the sneakers that she didn't post...? Though I don't know why she would have thought to take a picture of the various feet at the BPH.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I fixed the typos, thanks for the headzup. Gotta stop being in such a rush. The BPH looks like it was great fun. At some point the blog will have an expense account, and, although I'll never be able to go, because of the danger of embarrassing myself, we will EXPENSE the BPHs, which I daresay is something that no other blog offers! We enlighten, we entertain, we largely avoid typos, AND we pay for the drinks! And mark it down as a labor cost for Tom Fan's and bc's copy editing.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Turns out both my kids (and I) thought Gilmore Girls was Golden Girls and couldn't figure out why all their friends were watching it and talking about it so much!

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Phew! I guess that means I haven't been fired for missing this morning's typos then, Achenbach. [I do apologize -- Porching Hour reduced my brain to the size of a dehydrated legume. I know, I know -- no excuse.]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 12, 2005 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha! Golden Girls. I used to love that show when I was about 10. That's really kind of weird now that I think about it.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Linda, confessed cookbook-aholic that I am, thank you for the reference to yet another cookbook my collection is not complete with out. I shall go searching for it.

But just in case I cannot find said book, how many requests will you give the recipe away on?

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

i forgot about the goofy sneakers as well! i guess next time i'll hafta take a pic of all the feet of the bph'rs...
expense the bph??? ooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 12:29 PM | Report abuse

[I meant the alcohol reduced the size of my brain, not the company and the conversation. Oh my Achenhead . . .]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 12, 2005 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Cow, Franz'll say things like "First Amendment this, mister Washington Post columnist!"

"Old Gray Lady, eh? Yeah, the Old Gray *Bag* Lady!"

"USA Yesterday!"

"Those are some nice semicolons you got there."

"You got anything better than that, stuffwise?"

Oh, and he'll continually mispronounce Journal as "urinal" when talking about the Wall Street Journal.

It's a can't miss development. It's what the show needs. Franz' naked butt is also an option.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 12, 2005 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I also was wondering how many requests the pancake recipe would take. Is that three or four now?

Posted by: LP | October 12, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Joel,only to warn you about your neighbour Angus...he doesn´t have nothing concrete to suit you.Anyway,In U.S.A., it´s very easy to suit someone and win millions whit ridiculous things.
Yesterday i became a senior lawyer, i had passed my exam in the Bar corporation.i´m really happy and i would like to share this whit some of the persons who make this blog a place of frienship.
But i don´t want to fright nobody only by the evocation of my name(as Joel does whit his lawyer).
I,m not going to change my personality, i don´t want to be an asshole.
good afternoon for all

Posted by: suprassis | October 12, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if Joel knew how much we eat and drink at those Porching Hours (and the word "Hour" is used very loosely here), he wouldn't have offered to expense them.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Miss Linda, I can't do the proper begging for this recipe but I can say how much I enjoy your writing! How 'bout those pancakes?

Posted by: newkidontheblog | October 12, 2005 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I've only caught small snippets of CiC - and I'm sorry but it seems relatively dreadful. I've been a pretty consistent West Wing fan, and had high hopes for CiC -but Davis as "supermom" just annoys me. Really makes me want to scream - because its so trite to think that as a woman she naturally puts her kids first. Maybe the first woman president would be a HORRIBLE mother -- ala Joan Crawford. You don't know. I would prefer the show to be more "west-wing centric" and less "the-president's family" ... because then its just a trite family drama with better special effects (crop dusters bearing down on Central America).

And Gilmore Girls is a great show. Once Buffy left the air, Gilmore is probably one of the last remaining shows excelling in witty banter.

Posted by: Alison | October 12, 2005 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Boss, if you're going to expense the BPH, it seems only fair to add TRAVEL. That way, some of us geographically-challenged BoodleDisciples can fly out for the next one. I'll fly coach so as to not create an obdurate drain on the WP's resources.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Templeton the Rat was played by Paul Lynd.

Posted by: triviamavin | October 12, 2005 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, CiC's young, blonde press secretary has got to go! She's about as convincing as Cindy Sheehan's young Fenton P.R. handlers.

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd come to D.C. on the WaPo's tab any day for a BPH. Thinkin' takin' Amtrak would be fun in order to collect American stories.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | October 12, 2005 12:40 PM | Report abuse

NAni, I belive that was Paul Lynn

Posted by: ksudfgh | October 12, 2005 12:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jdr th | October 12, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Wait...Reader is *******? I'm such a maroon!

I want to go on record as saying that beers paid for by the Post taste MUCH better. I'm all for an expense account.

Posted by: jw | October 12, 2005 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What is it about James Spader that's always given me the creeps?

Posted by: Nyoka | October 12, 2005 12:55 PM | Report abuse

shhhh achenfan! don't spill the legumes! (how do you pronounce it again ta?) yeah, we don't hold back at these porching HOURS... (this one was what? almost 5 hours?)

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Reader is indeed ***** ********, jw. And I don't think I'm giving anything away by pointing out that she is also Abby, aka Abnormal American.

[Am I right? Or am I right?]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 12, 2005 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Five hours? Wow. I'm so jealous.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:05 PM | Report abuse

James Spader has dead-fish eyes, slightly bugged. Mucho creepy. Not to belabor the point, but Donald Sutherland (and Michael Caine) has a ton of acting talent and absolutely no discrimination in picking projects. Perhaps he has lots of alimony to pay. That was Sean Connery's explanation when asked once why he had made some particular cinematic excresence.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm kind of attracted to Sean Connery. I think it's the accent. I'm more attracted to Anthony Hopkins. Donald Sutherland kind of creeps me out sometimes because he can seem scary, but Keifer Sutherland--woah. Very nice. I recently got hooked on 24 when I saw a Labor Day marathon on A&E. Such a good show. So suspenseful and so many layers to the plot. I love it!

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:11 PM | Report abuse

i can't get the image of james spader from pretty in pink (where he was a JERK) and less than zero (where he was a drug pushing JERK) outta my mind when i see him... i always expect him to be a JERK!

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention his role in "Secretary," mo.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"We Know Who We Are"

Posted by: My kaboodle motto: | October 12, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I read that motto earlier this morning.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If the 'boodle needs a laugh today, (which I did...) check out this link. His laugh and delivery make me crack up just thinking about it.

The BPH pics. make my vacation planning more and more easy each time. Hmmmm, maybe a cherry blossom BPH...

Posted by: RA | October 12, 2005 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting the pics, mo.

I should think that anyone who attended the BPH should be excused for not being razor sharp today, Tom fan, considering what the bar tabs came to...

...speaking of which: Joel, thanks for the offer of expensing/sponsoring/underwriting future BPHs moneywise.

I can see it now: "The Joel Achenbach Washington Post 'Boodle Porching Hour, brought to you by Playtex."

Sara, the Gilmore Girls is similar to the 'boodle, in many ways...and yes, I am a man and actually *can* sit down and watch TV shows that don't feature vehicles, sports, violence, scantily clad women, expolsions, gunplay, and potty humor.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Spader in "Sex, Lies, and Videotape".

Mucho creepy. To me, anyway.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen that Sex, Lies and Videotape show. Is it any good?

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Somewhat of an SCC:

By "show" I meant "movie."

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Somewhat of an SCC"!

I like that.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 12, 2005 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Sara, check out Sean Connery in"Marnie", "A Fine Madness", and "The Hill" if you can find it. Also Keifer S. in "Stand by Me", "Freeway" with a young Reese Witherspoon, and "Dark City", Anthony H. in "The Lion in Winter". All show a somewhat different side of these guys before the screen personas were so set in stone.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 1:36 PM | Report abuse


I've seen The Lion in Winter, but I haven't seen the others. I'll add them to my list of films to see. Thanks.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

bc writes:
...speaking of which: Joel, thanks for the offer of expensing/sponsoring/underwriting future BPHs moneywise.

I can see it now: "The Joel Achenbach Washington Post 'Boodle Porching Hour, brought to you by Playtex."

Cross my heart, that sounds like fun! Of course, if Playtex underwrites it, perhaps the sponsorship is something we ought to hold close to our chests. An uplifting experience for all you D & C'ers in the neighborhood. Why, I'd raise a couple of cups (mugs) of beer as a toast to that. I guess it's something you could get hooked on after awhile.

Now, 'bout that train ticket...

Mo, how can we see your latest pics/photos?

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Sara, please don't see Sean Connery in "Zardoz". Trust me on this.


Hmm. Recommend "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" for Sara?

It was interesting, but I wouldn't call it great.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Since it seems to be a slow day, I'll offer a film trivia question. This falls in with the earlier theme of talent and script choice. What two things do Peter O'Toole, Gary Sinise, and Cuba Gooding have in common?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Ha Ha, Linda! Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 1:52 PM | Report abuse

That's the way to show your support, Loomis!

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Linda's pancake recipe, but I get positive reviews (just ask the women) for mine. I use a modification of the griddlecake recipe in an old paperback edition of the Fannie Farmer cookbook. Safflower oil instead of butter is the principle secret, gives the 'cakes a sweet nutty flavor. I also throw in a big glob of plain yogurt, which reacts with the baking powder to make for exceptionally fluffy pancakes. Sometimes, if I happen to be able to get some buckwheat flour, I replace a third of the wheat flour with buckwheat.

The problem with peanut oil, to me, is that (a) it makes everything taste like a PBJ, and (b) the widespread nature of powerful peanut allergies encourages me to avoid unnecessary exposures to peanut products when other products are available for the same purpose. You never know when an allergy will kick in, due to over-exposure, or something that I make will get handed off unsuspectingly to a kid with a peanut allergy. There were too many cases in my daughters' pre-school where there were big warning signs that certain specific kids could not be exposed to any nut-based products (both groundnuts and real nuts); it's just not something I can take lightly. I was especially turned off from peanut oil, when I encountered it in a place where it was just wrong, wrong, wrong -- a local Pizza Hut used peanut oil, in their over-greasy pizza, resulting in a pizza that tasted like peanuts. Yuck!

Posted by: Tim | October 12, 2005 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll trust you on that one, bc. No "Zardoz" for me.

Love the subtle but hilarious humor, Linda. That was excellent!

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"einstein's big idea" was based on David Bodanis' book. it was such a good show that i think i'm going to get the book. you learn about these people in science classes, but the show did a fantastic job of bringing them to life.

Posted by: boondocksjunkie | October 12, 2005 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"way to show your support"!


[Oh, and Linda: The link to the BPH pics is in mo's post of 11:50:19.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I gave CiC one last chance to hook me. However, it failed to place the proverbial hook. Which is disappointing, I saw potential in that show. Back to Earl.

Earl is good. Irreverent humor is good. Boston Legal does that very well. The Spadar character is a bit twisted with obvious wicked one-liners.

As for the Dubya/Lauer junket, I thought Dubya had jumping beans taped all over him.

BTW, who is this Miers person?

Posted by: FWIW | October 12, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Finally checking into the boodle after a long morning. Well, it was sorta long, then my buddy Phil, bless his generous but larcenous heart, took ME (and another person) out to lunch for HIS birthday! He turned 48 today and I had offered to take him to lunch, but then we picked a place that was expensive, so he said we could go dutch. Then, after a lovely lunch of lamb (mo, I hesitated on the wabbit), Bordeaux and dessert, he insisted on picking up the check "in the way of the hobbits".

BPH was much fun last evening. And bc is lying when he says that cars and scantily clad women hold less interest for him than sensitive stuff like Gilmore Girls. He has a radar with frequencies specifically tuned for the slightest noise on those topics.

Reader, I feel like a dolt that everybody seems to know your former self and I just picked up on it since it's practically been spelled out. Welcome back!

Posted by: TA | October 12, 2005 2:06 PM | Report abuse

pix posted were a scoche more flattering than the ones of the group (?) posted yesterday afternoon by some i*********.

Posted by: buttercutie | October 12, 2005 2:09 PM | Report abuse

funny that you mention "Dark City" because my bf and I tried to watch it last night after BPH. I slept through the beginning (blame the beer), then woke up for the second half. Was not impressed. I got kind of dumb toward the end, then my bf turned it off because he was falling asleep and wanted to sav the end. I said, "you're looking forward to watching the end?"

But I do have "Night of the Hunters" at home now thanks to whoever recommended it.

Posted by: TA | October 12, 2005 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Another good Sean Connery film is Richard Lester's "Robin and Marian" about Robin Hood and Maid Marian as older people. He's still Robin Hood and she is a nun. It has a very melancholic feel, as I recall.

Oh, and a completely different Richard Lester film is "Juggernaut" with Richard Harris trying to defuse a bomb planted on an at-sea ocean liner. Quite tense and artfully done.

Of course, if anyone wants to start to understand The Beatles, get Lester's "A Hard Days Night."

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"I got kind of dumb toward the end."

Obviously not what I meant to say, but it fits after my wine-filled lunch.

Posted by: TA | October 12, 2005 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I give up kurosawayguy - what do they have in common? BTW, if anyone wants to see Steinbeck's (sorry Sara) Of Mice and Men come to life, see Gary Sinise and John Malkovich's film version.
I'd set my cap for Billy Bob Thornton or Jeremy Irons, but the late Mr. Nani and I have a Ghost and Mrs. Muir thing going on, so...

Posted by: Nani | October 12, 2005 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Creamer = *uc*ing ***mba* ?

Posted by: naf-neh-ca | October 12, 2005 2:20 PM | Report abuse

we can understand getting dumb w the bf.
perish the thought, TA

Posted by: buttercutie | October 12, 2005 2:22 PM | Report abuse

TA, too bad about "Dark City". The set up is better than the payoff. My recommendation is mostly for Keifer"s performance and the art direction, although I must admit that I really like Jennifer Connelly and Rufus Sewell.

And the earlier trivia- O'Toole, Sinise, and Gooding have all been Oscar nom'ed (Gooding won) and all have had roles in really lame (is there any other kind?) Ben Affleck vehicles. Gooding in "Pearl Harbor", Sinise in "Reindeer Games", and O'Toole in (last and definitely worst) "Phantoms".

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

No need to apologize Nani. I have seen that film. And it was good, but terribly sad. Of Mice and Men isn't as parching as the other Steinbeck stories I've experienced.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good to know I'm not the only one who notices Ben Affleck's mediocrity, kurosawaguy. I think he's mediocre in all areas. Yes, even the looks department. I could fall asleep looking at him, and not because I'm content and want his face to be the last thing I see before I close my eyes.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I still can't get into CinC -- I find it monumentally boring and contrived. Still checking out West Wing, although that is beginning to pall a bit -- maybe because I am more successful now in disengaging from anything smelling (oh, yeah, *SMELLING*) of politics. I need to plug myself into the wall to recharge those batteries for all those fights ahead.

But I do like Gilmore Girls. Got into it maybe a year or so ago. It's a good show. The rest of the tube has become pretty much unmitigated c**p. I miss Judging Amy. But, well, I'm way past the demographic preference apparently. I'd love to see some of the old Cagney & Lacey shows. That was good tv.

Linda, I'd love to get your pancake recipe, too, but if I got down on my knees to beg, I would never be able to get back up again (mmmm, an arthritic knee moment). So I won't. I'll just wait impatiently in line like the rest of us. My growling stomach will hold my attention for awhile longer.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 12, 2005 2:28 PM | Report abuse

pj, you know you're showing your age talking about Robin and Marian. I loved that film! My favorite exchange, as the two meet again after years apart:

Marian: You never wrote!
Robin: I don't know how!

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2005 2:29 PM | Report abuse

TA, I take umbrage with your misrepresentation of my "radar" as you call it (and yes - oh, yes - you will be buying me a beer come December). I don't think I said that latter (GG, etc.) holds more interest for me than the former (sports, SCW, etc>). I am simply saying that I can give appropriate attention to both.

Linda, I feel that your application of puns at 1:50:04 was a padded with a little too much plasticy humor.

Cross my heart.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 2:32 PM | Report abuse

needn't be feca

Posted by: omnigasm | October 12, 2005 2:33 PM | Report abuse

i mean a face

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2005 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Do not use a heavy peanut oil in the pancake recipe--use Hain's. If you use a heavy peanut oil, the recipe is ruined. Been there, done that. Trust me.

As for food allergies, I understand them completely. After I broke my tooth eating a Costco bagel (large, very sharp piece of chicken bone in their chicken potpie this past Tuesday night), I lived on a lot of Motrin as the tooth pain under the temporary crown got progressively worse. Never having had a root canal, it took several weeks before I realized that was what was probably required. My dentist experimented, including readjusting the height/bite of the temporary. I wonder if the Motrin changed me chemically?

While I was suffering with my aching tooth, we ate at an IHOP in December. I took two Motrin at the restaurant immediately after finishing my dinner. About three hours later, I began to itch, an itch like the Devil himself was forcing my hand. I looked in the mirror and couldn't believe the transformation I was undergoing with my body. I, with nothing on but a robe, ran to my she-nurse, next-door neighbor. "What's going on?" I asked and pleaded in desperation. Quick diagnosis: An extremely bad case of hives over 2/3 of my body. Following her advice, my husband rubbed me down at home with Calydryl lotion, and I downed two Benadryl.

We jumped in the car and drove to what we thought was one of those 24-hr. emergency clinics. Except it closed at 11 p.m. We thought of driving to a hospital emergency room. In panic mode, we couldn't remember which hospital emergency room our insurance covered. But our SUV overhead light showed the bubbles and bags and bumps were getting slightly smaller. My husband stayed up an hour after I drifted off to sleep just to make sure my air passage wouldn't swell shut, as my lips swelled to supersized during the incident.

Let me say that I had never had a shellfish reaction before. Shellfish and alcohol made me deathly ill (violent gut reaction), as I discovered shortly after I turned 21 and combined the two. Well, my sis did, she cooked the meal--if I didn't know better I would have thought that she was trying to kill me. ;-)

Then my husband, this past June, said "I bought some farm-raised jumbo prawns at Costco." I had assiduously avoided shrimp for six months. My husband was convinced that I had gotten sick only because I had eaten at IHOP, where their local kitchen cleanliness problems are well-known in our neighborhood. So we ate the Costco prawns.

This time, I had no sooner lost the prawns (northern route) than I began to have a hives reaction. Because there were probably fewer toxins in my system because I had eleminated them from my stomach, the hives reaction was less severe, but severe nevertheless. I no longer ever what to have the "Elephant Man/Woman" experience.

Beware the food allergy. In that respect, Tim the poster is correct. I wish I knew more about why I react. During my first pregnancy, I ate shrimp prepared at little hole-in-the-wall Oriental restaurant at Tracy, Calif. The next day I became sicker than a dog. I lost seven pounds in seven days, before the ob/gyn diagnosed lactose intolerance. Within a week of losing the baby at 14 weeks, I could comfortably resume eating milk and milk-based products.

Aflatoxins in peanuts(legume) must be just as severe. When getting a coffee at Barnes and Noble one day, the woman in front of me was very curious how a particular bakery product was made. One hint of peanuts (the nut or the oil) could kill her daughter who accompanied her, she claimed.

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Sara -

This isn't a novel, but "Travels with Charley" is REALLY good Steinbeck. He turned his pickup truck into a kind of camper, and took off touring around the country with his dog. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it will become a part of you! Definitely not dry or dreary.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2005 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh now Sara I won't diss all of Ben's efforts. He was pretty good in "Voyage of the Mimi". Course he was twelve at the time...

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 2:50 PM | Report abuse

*groan* yeah, those bar tabs were kinda high huh? explains the headache this am... sara - sex, lies and videotapes is a "i have no other movie to watch" movie - he's creepy in it and the whole movie is just a downer...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 2:51 PM | Report abuse

repartee est giving me fits re elephant-woman, vomit, diarrhea, looking at Affleck body parts. will vacate until some day forward when dis blog is sanitary.

a cleansing blog. like chelating therapy.

Posted by: buttercutie | October 12, 2005 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Voyage of the Mimi!!! Thank God. You have no idea how much I've been wracking my brain to remember the name of that show. I keep asking people, "Do you remember that show on PBS with the kids on the sailing ship doing the science stuff?" You can imagine the reaction I would get.

Posted by: jw | October 12, 2005 2:56 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, I know I'm showing my age in those film picks. (Next year I become older than dirt. But celebrating one's birthday beats the hell out of the alternative.) I haven't seen either of them in years and had forgotten that great line. Thanks!

Two other movies from that era are "Three Days of the Condor" (based on a novel by a DC writer and very different from the novel) and its philosophical successor "All the President's Men."

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll confess to liking O'Toole a lot.

Other than "Lion", I'd recommend "The Last Emperor", "My Favorite Year", and of course, "Lawrence of Arabia".

Saw the director's cut of LoA at the Uptown in DC, sat in the front of the balcony...good times.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I've never heard of Voyage of the Mimi. I guess that leaves me free to continue dissing pretty much all of his efforts. Aww, too bad.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Attempting to stay on the television tangent, does anyone else appreciate the obvious influence of Paul Lynde on Roger (the alien) on American Dad? [Note: This is my first post, and I must admit to being a bit hesitant to hit the "post" button because of The Spelling & Grammar Gestapo.]

Posted by: C8 | October 12, 2005 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd also recommend Shadowlands. Good flick.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I watch Gilmore Girls only because I live in a house in which the only other male is a cat, and he can't operate the remote. So, on Tuesday nights, I'm a Gilmore Captive. It's a clever show with amusing charactors. Recently, I've come to wonder how it plays in Red States like Kansas (I'm half-way through What's Wrong With Kansas, so I'm currently very interested in what makes the Social Conservative Counterculture tick).

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind James Spader. He is good at playing weirdos. You just need to go into a movie with him expecting to be weirded out. I really liked "Secretary"

Posted by: TA | October 12, 2005 3:16 PM | Report abuse


Don't worry about spelling. Nevr bothers me.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Just give that cat a little time, CowTown; he'll soon learn how to operate the remote.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I would never deny Peter O'Toole's obvious talent. LOA and "Lion in Winter" are two of my faves. It is a pity that his alcoholism robbed us of some of his best years.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mrs.barfalot | October 12, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

ooo i like o'toole as well... my fav was Becket with o'toole and richard burton! DEFINETLY a must watch!!!!!

i was disapointed by dark city as well... i was like, ooo perfect movie for a goth! uh, not so much!

shadowlands reminded me of the movie Closet Land (just the name not the plot) - that's a particularly INTENSE film with only two characters played by madeline stowe and alan rickman...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 3:25 PM | Report abuse

There ain't no Spelling and Grammar Gestapo here, only the SCC. But I'm guessing "C8" already knew that.

And if this is "C8"'s first post, why, I'll eat my hat.


Tom fan
Acting Assistant Director
Federal Bureau of Boodling Investigations

Posted by: Tom fan | October 12, 2005 3:25 PM | Report abuse

pj, my oldest indulged me by renting "All the President's Men" and she, her sister, and I watched it one night last summer. The cultural/technological changes knocked me away: smoking in elevators, rotary dial phones, manual typewriters. And I was in college when Watergate was going on! It made me feel old, very, very old.

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2005 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Bob S, I know a lady who started an expensive line of travel fashion for dogs and their owners. Picture a precious doggie coat lined with fur, and a matching one for the owner. That kind of stuff. Her dog's name is Charley so, "Travels with Charley" became the name of her line.

I asked her if she'd ever read the book. She asked me: "What book?"

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 12, 2005 3:27 PM | Report abuse

",f***:^" emoticon for the winner of a titling contest for the

Unterwhipmeisterundspelgrammarfuhrer, who will do the dirty work no matter the wardrobe blowout or other malfunction in rain or snot I mean snow thar she blows with another friendly dainty reminder to dot your ts and cross your eye

>>>>>>>>>>>this post ist SCC exempt<<<<<<<

Posted by: mrs.barfalot | October 12, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Habitual reader but first-time poster, I swear...I've refrained in the past because you regulars are just so incredibly's a bit intimidating, to be honest...

Posted by: C8 | October 12, 2005 3:34 PM | Report abuse

*bc slapping his head*

mo, I forgot that version of "Becket"!
Good pull, m'lady.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no! Gene was mentioned in the Len Downie "chat" today and Joel was not! I fear some "undesirable repercussions" await!

Posted by: newkidontheblog | October 12, 2005 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that must have taken a lot of thought. It's so witty! I like the clever juxtaposition of "eye" for I. Brilliant. And I know from brilliant. At least no one's been called a loser or social reject today, which is real progress.

Posted by: jw | October 12, 2005 3:36 PM | Report abuse


Why be honest? And do not be intimidated by this crock 'o chatter. Post first, think later is our motto when we are sober.

Posted by: mrs.barfalot | October 12, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Okay -- this is for the Gilmore Girls afficiandos and afficiandas among us: this is something that's been absolutely bugging me since I started watching it. It regards the actress who plays Lorelai's mother (Kelly Bishop). If my memory serves correctly (which is debatable on certain days), it seems to me that, if true, she was in the original Broadway cast of A Chorus Line (and I'm not sure which dancer she played, it's being around 30 years ago). I have the vinyl sound track around somewhere (and predictably unaccessible), and I do believe I recall her name. Anybody out there with the goods? BTW, I think she's great in her GG role (like, I want to throw things at her).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 12, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

achenfan - it's hard but i ain't bitting! nope - won't do it!

lindaloo - i'd shoot myself if i had a shelfish allergy! i could eat shrimp ever single day of the year! me, i'm lactose intolerant but not all of the time??? i don't get it...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

You're right, honesty is for suckers...but then again, so is sobriety...

Posted by: C8 | October 12, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

slyness, you and I are right about the same age.

I read a review of the re-release of "The Exorcist" which mentioned the amount of smoking in the film. Like in about every scene - even the ones without Linda Blair in them.

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 3:45 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for defending our honor.

Posted by: golconda | October 12, 2005 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm the same way mo - different forms of dairy will get me, but not others.

I'm home sick today, the movie suggestions have been fun, guys. And did we ever get that pancake recipe?

Posted by: LP | October 12, 2005 3:47 PM | Report abuse

yep - she was in a chorus line - according to
Kelly Bishop, best known to young audiences as Rory's grandmother on "Gilmore Girls" (2000), won a Tony award for her performance as Sheila in the original cast of Chorus Line (under the name Carole Bishop).
Sheila was the older dancer...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 3:47 PM | Report abuse

mo beat me to it.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 3:48 PM | Report abuse


The kaboodle is kind of the opposite of Groucho Marx who said, I wouldn't want to join any club who would have me as a member. Here, if you think you want to say something, that in itself is what qualifies you to jump in. Even the snipers, they belong, and they have a good time--well, their version of a good time. It's amazing. Thanks for your comment.

Posted by: Reader | October 12, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

beat me mo, too it.

Posted by: mrs.barfalot | October 12, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Reader. Humors must be all out of whack.

Posted by: jw | October 12, 2005 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Reader - thanks for the license to say whatever I please, that's fantastic..I think I'll begin by assigning both the "Loser" and "Social Reject" titles to me since my the main point of my very first Achenblog post received zero feedback...I now feel very initiated, so thanks to all of you...

Posted by: C8 | October 12, 2005 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, guys. Just goes to show that great minds think alike. I saw the show in London in probably 1976 (I was living in Sweden then), and just loved it. Was friends in Stockholm with some dancers who told me they burst into tears the first time they saw the show, and every time thereafter.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 12, 2005 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who Paul Lynde is, so any response I made would have been probably consisted of, "Well, no, but I don't know anything about Paul Lynde."

firsttimeblogger, I loved A Chorus Line, too.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 4:02 PM | Report abuse

C8, sorry but I've never seen "American Dad" so I can't help your Paul Lynde thesis. Mebbe somebody else knows.

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 4:03 PM | Report abuse

One more thing, for Joel.

Are you implying that Shatner isn't as much of a ham as Sutherland? Sutherland seems to me to have come to hamminess later in his career (post-"Kentucky Fried Movie"/"Animal House", I think. Well, OK, he was a bit hammy in "Kelly's Heroes"); Shatner has made his career being nothing BUT. Please to be reviewing "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", for dueling hams with Ricardo Montalban.

Oh, and here's a good one for Sara if she hasn't seen it already: "The Great Train Robbery" with Sean Connery AND Donald Sutherland.

And if someone needs to deliver the "The thing about women is, you have to slap 'em around a little!" line, on CiC, call in Connery. Oh, wait, I've seen him do that role before...


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh, how I love my job at the FBBI. And I love my old weatherbeaten hat, which I'm happy to report I won't be replacing just yet.

["the main point . . . received zero feedback"! "C8," you kill me. Ha. EYE kill me.]


Posted by: Tom fan | October 12, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lynde? You don't know who he is? Ever watch Bewitched? He's Uncle Arthur.

Steve Carrell played him beautifully in the (cute, but not great) movie version of Bewitched with Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman.

Of course Paul Lynde is also famous for being the "center square" on Hollywood Square in the late 1970s. And for many, many other roles.

He was a pretty campy "queen" in his day. Is he still alive?

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

In league of her own
steely Geena Davis is
Commander in Chief

Speaker of the House
sneaky Donald Sutherland
is a you know what

Posted by: omnigood | October 12, 2005 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't a Bewitched fan. He died in 1982, before I was born.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lynde died in1982. Found doing a "Sunset Boulevard" in his pool. (Dead floating face down. See the movie- it's GREAT!)

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What would Geena Davis do?...

(first few 'graphs from
Can flu guru do the job? Critics question his credentials
By Jessica Heslam
Friday, October 7, 2005 - Updated: 07:27 AM EST

As the United States braces for a possible avian flu pandemic, the federal government's point man on the deadly virus is coming under fire.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Stewart Simonson lacks a medical or public health management background. He received a bachelor of arts degree in 1986 and a law degree in 1994 from the University of Wisconsin, and worked as legal counsel to Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson from 1995 to 1999 before following his boss to Washington when Thompson was tapped to be Health and Human Services secretary. According to his HHS bio, Simonson previously served as corporate secretary and counsel for Amtrak. [How 'bout those train tickets?]

Simonson's record sparks concerns as flu fears spike.

``If the avian flu were to hit here, it would be like having a Category 5 viral hurricane hit every single state simultaneously,'' said Shelley Hearne, director of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health, yesterday.

To some, Simonson's resume is disturbingly reminiscent of that of disgraced former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown.

...U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) recently released a ``fact sheet'' blasting Simonson, Brown and other public safety officials.

``The Bush Administration has repeatedly appointed inexperienced individuals with political connections to important government posts, including positions with key responsibilities for public health and safety,'' the fact sheet read. ``Mr. Simonson is a lawyer, not a medical expert.''

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, I *love* "Sunset Boulevard," kurosawaguy.

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!"

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I know this sounds completely immature, but there are two reasons I won't watch Commander in Chief --

1. ABC shoved it down my throat during any show that had a large, or largely perceived, female audience -- i.e. soaps, Oprah, etc.

2. They filmed her throwing out the first pitch during a....drum roll please....Baltimore Orioles game. Not cool at all.

Posted by: Kristin | October 12, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

C8: It IS scary posting here to the boodle. It's much easier posting the main Kit at the top, then hiding, which is my M.O.

Let me just say that a Paul Lynde Day would not be a bad idea for the blog. All Paul Lynde all the time.

And C8: I am the total loser and social rejectoid for not blogging yet on the Hobbitses. The thing is, I have a lot to say about that and want to make a good item about it but have to do some other stuff and so it will have to wait. But I also know that, by the time I get around to writing something, everyone will have already formed an opinion about it and will have seen the broader perspective. They'll have already experienced the humorous digressions. They won't need me at that point.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2005 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Linda, I almost posted that same thing!

Notice on the HHS bio it says he received a "bachelor of arts degree" and doesn't mention in what. It could be in anything, but you can bet if it came anywhere close to being in biology or public health or anything remotely related to his position they would have told us.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Aaaar! If there be any of ye who think Geena Davis can do no wrong, I've two words for ye "Cutthroat Island".

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

the movie rendition of a chorus line was... lame *sigh* but as an aside note - the actor (vicki frederick) that played sheila in the movie was in another stage to film rendition of a fosse show "all that jazz" (that is a must see even if you aren't a show tunes kinda person - it was directed by fosse and is very interesting!)

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Sunset Blvd. trivia - Montgomery Clift was Billy Wilder's first choice for the JOe McGinnes (William Holden) role. Just before filming, Clift reneged saying he didn't think his fans would appreciate him playing a character who would woo an older woman for money. Also, Mae West was approached for the Gloria Swanson role. She turned it down, said she was insulted Wilder would even consider her for hte part.

Posted by: Nani | October 12, 2005 4:24 PM | Report abuse

pj, the film I really need to rent to see again is American Graffiti...and have the kids (they're 20 and 23) with me. Would love to see their reactions.

Posted by: Slyness | October 12, 2005 4:24 PM | Report abuse

bc, of course you are correct that Shatner is hammier than Sutherland. I actually had "ham" on the brain because of Shatner, but impulsively slapped the label on Sutherland, who was virtually an innocent bystander. Sutherland, though, does love to marinate in the moment on camera -- you can see him just soaking up the lights with that big evil smile of his -- and "Casanova" was definitely the whole hog compared to some of his earlier hammy roles. In "MASH" he was actually fairly low key, doing his Mr. Cool routine. Shatner in Boston Legal is definitely the Other White Meat, shamelessly, and he's fun to watch. Sorry to invade the boodle and I apologize in advance for almost certainly killing it.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2005 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Um, Sara . . . born after 1982. . . .Yikes. I was creeping inexorably close to my 40s then. Jeeeezzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 12, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Also Linda, I hope you can take an Amtrak up here. They are expensive and always late, but so much fun.

Get a sleeper, though. The last overnight trip we took (DC to Tampa), my son said the Coach cars looked like the "influenza ward."

In a sleeper car, you're so relaxed you don't even notice that you're about 6 hours behind and still have a couple hundred miles to go. As long as you have your books and your iPod and whatever else keeps you entertained you won't be anxious to arrive at all.

Oh yeah.. and the trip will cost you at least twice what it would cost to fly. But, hey, you're seeing America!

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I confess: I'm a big "Gilmore Girls" fan. The banter makes me think of one of other all time favorites: "Moonlighting".

Achenfan, my sneakers aren't really all that goofy, just goofy looking with the pants I was wearing. I can wear them to the BPH though.

Posted by: omnigood | October 12, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

SCC one of my other

Posted by: omnigood | October 12, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy I believe I listed that movie and "Earth Girls are Easy" in Joel's previous CiC Kit 'boodle.

And Joel, I agree that Shatner's turn on BL is good...hammy....FUN!

And, you didn't kill the 'boodle.

I think.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

AAACCCKKKK no!! not "cutthroat island"! blorph!

oh, one thing other interesting aside about vicki frederick is that she played "zutra" on mork & mindy - the one who was trying to get into his pants...

tbg - excellent suggestion - i did the dc to orlando train ride in coach and it was murderous! those chairs do not recline very much - resorted to sleeping on the floor! (i was a kid - and this was pre-ipod days)

sorry C8 - didn't see american dad and only watched the squares in few re-runs - he's a little before my time...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lynde Day = GENIUS. I must admit that I remember him mostly from his Center Square Days, and the "campy queen" comment is dead on...I assumed there may be some "Family Guy" or "American Dad" fans among you, which is how I got into this mess in the first place...

Posted by: C8 | October 12, 2005 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying about the sneakers, omni. I'd been picturing polka dots and flashing lights, and possibly one of those spinning bowties where the shoelaces are supposed to be. At least now I know I didn't miss much by not looking.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The Family Guy episode with William Shatner is one of my favorites.

*bc doing a Paul Lynde voice* "If you know what I mean."


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Still stuck on "Sunset Boulevard". One of the two good movies Jack Webb was ever in. Gloria Swanson was fantastic, in part because they could use footage from her silent films when she was truly a beauty. And Erich Von Stroheim as the bulter Max was another master stroke. Von Stroheim had been a great director in the silent era, but his perfectionism was too expensive for the studios and he was dumped. He would build complete streets of houses for exterior shots even though the insides would not be seen. He once held up shooting for two days until the smoke coming out of the chimneys on a street scene looked the way he wanted. He was often caricatured as the Prussian martinet for his working costume of beret, monocle, megaphone, and riding breeches and boots.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 12, 2005 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm completely a Family Guy/American Dad fan (Family Guy moreso--"Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Lois, this isn't my Batman glass.") but Paul Lynde is several years before me so I never would have put the two together. I was born in November 1984, so he had already been dead for 2 or 3 years. The height of his fame had definitely passed.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 4:42 PM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy - i totally LOVED the carol burnette "sunset boulevard" spoofs! this was before i even saw sunset boulevard - and when i watched it finally, well, i spose i may have giggled at some of the more dramatic scenes...

speaking of old creepy movies - "whatever happened to baby jane" - i saw it when i was young young and just recently re-watched it... boy that bette davis can creep you out!!

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2005 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Sara - point taken, although I'm not sure if he ever achieved a "height of fame", that may be pushing it...and I was 9 when he died, so I obviously know him from reruns of various shows...American Dad is definitely not as funny as Family Guy, but the peripheral characters are great...

Posted by: C8 | October 12, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The height of Paul Lynde's fame might not even have been reached yet.

I'm outta here guys. Good night.


Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 4:53 PM | Report abuse

hey mo, I took that Goth test you link to on your sight: 51%...haha Right now I'm wearing black shoes, socks, pants and a very very dark green paisley shirt. That should give me a few more percentage points, at least for the day.

Posted by: omnigood | October 12, 2005 4:54 PM | Report abuse

RE: Bewitched - does anyone remember the name of the grandmother? It was a trivia question I flubbed on a week ago, still trying to recall.....

Posted by: LP | October 12, 2005 4:54 PM | Report abuse

NOW I get it. The Alien on American Dad. No, he's not like Paul Lynde, he's more like Dr. Smith of Lost in Space. Now I have completely dated myself. I am ancient. Pity me.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" is one of my favorite movies, mo! The last scene of her dancing on the beach--talk about spine tinglingly creepy.

I agree C8, the peripheral characters are great on American Dad. I like the idea of a talking fish, too. I've had a goldfish (Nelson) for 6 years now. He's so old that I fully expect him to pick up on the English language soon and start talking to me.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse

You mean Samantha's mother?


Posted by: Achenfan | October 12, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse


Did you ever see the remake of Lost in Space with Joey from "Friends" and that Lacey Chabert chick? (I can't believe I remembered her name but not his.) That was a winner of a movie.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 4:59 PM | Report abuse

aaah! thanks achenfan. I knew it was "...ora" something. So close!

Posted by: LP | October 12, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I just took that Goth test and I'm 12% goth. It told me to go home and take my Cure CD's with me. Just like Reader.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Sara: That movie broke my heart. I love science fiction - even bad science fiction. But "Lost in Space" was so horrific I had to turn off my video player and just read something. And it had William Hurt in it; does he actually have trouble getting roles?

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

TGB writes:
Get a sleeper, though. The last overnight trip we took (DC to Tampa), my son said the Coach cars looked like the "influenza ward."

In a sleeper car, you're so relaxed you don't even notice that you're about 6 hours behind and still have a couple hundred miles to go. As long as you have your books and your iPod and whatever else keeps you entertained you won't be anxious to arrive at all

I've taken Amtrak on a number of occasions, by choice. On a business-trip (with vacation time to account for the Amtrak journey-time) I got a sleeper paid for by the company. We were behind schedule coming out of Denver, so the train flew through the night across the Plains states. I was on a lower bunk, but got nary a wink of sleep because the rocking and jolting was so severe. At daybreak at one of the larger towns, a woman who had had an upper sleeper detrained in order to receive medication attention. She was thrown from her upper bed by the rollicking speed over the uneven tracks and suffered a broken arm.

My last Amtrak trip was San Antonio to Los Angeles, a one-way fare, and the food was so expensive and so bad, I swore "Never again!" You're making me rethink this...

My goodness, the Boodle is hot and active this afternoon...Hope Joel doesn't wait too long on the Gugliotta/Hobbit bit.

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

He must. And if he didn't, he should now after that.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 5:10 PM | Report abuse

SCC my entire last post. It just feels weird to read and it's filled with fragments.

Posted by: Sara | October 12, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Interesting WaPo chat on newspapers of the future today with Frank Ahrens--introductory graphs below. (Len Downey Jr. didn't take my question about WaPo blogs during his WaPo chat today.)

But, wait, there's more. Later this week, I'd like to write a story for the paper Post (or the "fiber media" as some electronic media folks call it) off of today's interview and discussion. Because a newspaper is at bottom a business, we need to know what our customers want. So your voices will be critical to the story I'm going to write. Tell us about your newspaper habits--how you read it, what you want and so forth. I'm sure Russ would be interested, as well.

To that end, I encourage you to send me an e-mail with your name and your questions and comments and I will use some of them in my story. My address is:

So let's get started with this--what shall we call it? A blogversation?

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2005 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lynde had a short lived sitcom that was named oddly enough The Paul Lynde Show. The promo for the show which is burned into my brain had Paul returning home from work to his beard, I mean wife.

Wife:How's the rat race?
Paul: The raaats are winnnning.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Peter Marshall: Paul, in the early days of Hollywood,  who was usually found atop Tony, the Wonder Horse?

Paul Lynde: My Friend Flicka.

More here:

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 12, 2005 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Linda, I am sorry I was unable to clarify earlier. I posted just before work and expected to have a lively day boodling away however my grand schemes were dismantled under my boss's watchful eye (and strong arm). My question was not fielded either but I thought there was enough information presented to basically answer my "So where is the WP headed again?" questions.

I heart American Dad and Family Guy. I think that American Dad is settling into its groove now and getting out some really good episodes (like Roger opening the bar in the current favorite). As far as Roger's character having been based on anyone in particular I did not pick that up but I (alas!) am part of the younger generation who didn't get a chance to watch Paul Lynde in action.

Also, great Porching Hour pics mo! I hope I am in town for the next one (unlikely but hope springs eternal). Perhaps if Joel can get that expense account up and running...

Posted by: peanutgallerymember | October 12, 2005 6:34 PM | Report abuse


Did you see Carol Burnett's version of "Gone with the Wind"? It took up half the show and was better than the original.


Yeah, I remember "American Graffiti". Great use of music and of Wolfman Jack. Great young cast and the best use of Suzanne Somers anywhere. (Well, that's a bit cold. She was also good in a "Rockford Files" episode.) Haven't seen it in at least 25 years, either. I need to see these flicks again just to see how they hold up.

Posted by: pj | October 12, 2005 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Re: Hobbits -

NYTimes today - "Recently, British researchers examined the skull of a microcephalic individual at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and found that its braincase appeared to match that of the Flores specimen."

WAPost today - "Primatologist Robert Martin of Chicago's Field Museum, a leading critic, acknowledged that having a second jawbone 3,000 years younger than that of the original fossil "makes it more difficult" to argue that microcephaly -- small-headed dwarfism -- would persist for 100 generations ." and "But in a second paper earlier this year, researchers said the Hobbit's brain, while only the size of a grapefruit, had relatively large temporal lobes, like those of modern humans, and a highly convoluted frontal lobe, another modern characteristic."

The Times article didn't seem to have anything newer than 2-3 months old, while the Post article seemed to have actually absorbed the news in the Nature article yesterday.

Posted by: Hobbitseeker | October 12, 2005 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Catching up as usual.

Loved the Platex sponsor post. It was a

Glad you survived your allergic attack.

I'll put in another request for the pancake recipe. Do you ever put blueberries in them? Yum.

I went picking raspberries yesterday. Big field of bushes on a berry farm - pick your own. It is unusual for them to be available this late and when the first frost comes they will be no more. Rasperries on pancakes would be yummy, too.

Thanks for the pics of the BPH, mo. It sure sounds as if you all had a great time at the Archenevent - or should it be Archevent?

It would take the rest of my life to see all the movies, read all the books you boodlers suggest but I am making lists. Appreciate the suggestions and the fact a little summary or synopsis goes with them.


Posted by: boondocklurker | October 12, 2005 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The first role I ever saw Geena Davis play was the buxom young actress in "Tootsie." It scarred me for life. But in a good way. I guess this makes it hard for me to accept her as leader of the free world.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2005 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I liked Geena in "Speechless" with Michael Keaton. The other two members of my family can't get enough of "Cutthroat Island." Really.

Posted by: Reader | October 12, 2005 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Like Geena Davis in CiC, but wish she wouldn't appear to be saluting all the time, like stiff and ready to attack. Think the show has possibilities, but the writing needs some help. I am not getting hooked. Love Donald Sutherland, great actor. As to Paul Lynde, great comic, watched him in Bewitched, and thought he was better than the witch.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 12, 2005 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Geena's lips just freak me out.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2005 9:56 PM | Report abuse

FY--I really liked your recipes for braised rutabaga.
MoFo--thanks for the lyrics to a White Christmas. They're inspirational any time of year.
AF--the expression: priceless. Tx
TF--no problems visible
D--stage IV sleep is when you dream.
Buttercutie--no on my watch, we won't
DB--thanks for the old I Love Lucy recollection; they really made my month.
Mostlyjerking--no, not here, not now.

Posted by: Thundergirl | October 12, 2005 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I tried to watch CiC, but it just doesn't appeal to me. I like Geena Davis (love her in Accidental Tourist, one of my favorite movies) and Donald Sutherland, but the writing and the plots just aren't so good. West Wing in its decline is still better, as someone else alluded to much earlier. But I didn't like West Wing at first either, so maybe CiC will get better. I can't believe Joel has blogged about it twice...Makes me feel like I should try harder...

There's a lot to watch on Tue nights. I'm not sure about Earl yet, or The Office. There's also a show on Canadian TV, DaVinci's Inquest, which I like a lot (it's still in reruns). I like Gilmore Girls, but mostly in small doses.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2005 10:26 PM | Report abuse

mo, the pictures of the BPH are great! Looks like you all had a time!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2005 10:31 PM | Report abuse

"Commander in Chief" is to "The West Wing" as "The District" was to "Homicide, Life on the Street," a less intelligent, less interesting, less entertaining, more amateurish, gimmickier, triter, fax-quality copy. I wouldn't watch it at all if I didn't have a longstanding (ever since "Buffalo Bill") crush on Geena Davis.

And nothing else I like is on Tuesday at 9:00, and CiC leads into the absolutely precious "Boston Legal," which gets my vote as best hour-long show on a broadcast network today (and maybe the best cast ever, period).

Of course, though, there's no place like "Rome." Personally I hope that they'll take this season out to the Battle of Antium, and then just tell everyone to watch an unexpurgated "I, Claudius" for the next 13 episodes, and then pick it up next year with Nero's accession.

Then I will be in TV heaven.

Posted by: Ferguson Foont | October 13, 2005 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Gore is back in the news - maybe running in 2008 for pres? Really, I think he should stay with what he does best: VP. A (Hillary) Clinton/Gore ticket...once again. It would save money for people who still have those old buttons and posters and for those who never removed their Clinton/Gore bumper stickers.

And Bubba would be back in the White House.

Now here's a weird thought: Bill having "sexual relations" with the new President in the Oval Office - the tables have turned...(or rather, the desk).

Posted by: Off Topic | October 13, 2005 3:26 AM | Report abuse

If a woman President did what Bill Clinton did in the White House, she would probably be taken out and shot! With the dress she did it in! And her partner would be elevated to the position of President, if a man, if a woman, they would both be shot.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 13, 2005 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Is it me or does Geena Davis seem to have a mouth full of marbles on CinC? It's like every word is O-ver Pro-Noun-ced.

Posted by: jw | October 13, 2005 8:18 AM | Report abuse

it's you

Posted by: buttercutie | October 13, 2005 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's her total lack of regional accent. When's the last time we had a president that didn't have some sort or accent?

Posted by: jw | October 13, 2005 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Last night I heard on the radio a home equity mortgage commercial with the announcer doing a very bad Paul Lynde impersonation. I wonder how many people still "get it." Paul's been been pushing up daisy's for over 20 years and his style is still out there.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 13, 2005 8:48 AM | Report abuse

you got it bad for the mouth

Posted by: buttercutie | October 13, 2005 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Most people probably think the announcer is doing a really bad voice change for the commercial. Either that or they figure an impersonation is being done, but they don't know who is being impersonated.

Posted by: Sara | October 13, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Had I known what a prancy queen Paul was when I was ten it could have clouded my whole childhood. Instead he became my beacon of snarkiness. I could snicker exactly like him. I would watch Hollywood Squaes just dying for someone to "take Paul to block." I can't even think that with a straight face anymore.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 13, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

On behalf of all the little people of America, I'm offended at the comparsion of diminutive humans to hobbits.

African pymgies have a growth hormone insensitivity which is inherited through only one gene, that prevents them from getting the teenage growth spurt. This allows them to adapt to the hot and humid environments in rainforests.

They are not microcephalic (small-headed), and they usually are at least as tall as 8 year olds, if always under 5 feet (and usually 4 feet 5).

The "hobbits" are much shorter and have brains not much bigger than dogs, it sounds.

If proven beyond doubt, we have to debate if the stories of the wee folk are based on real past experience? How much has storytelling been distorted in the telling once the "hobbits" disappeared?

Should we assume Homo Florenesis only developed on Flores, or came from elsewhere? Up to 200 years ago, we really had no idea there were real hominids extant in the past. None of our religions indicated they existed. Yet our folktales persist.

This could sprout an cultural phemenonon worse than Atlantis. Many people are somewhat nutty when it comes to inexplicable stuff from the past.

Speaking of Atlantis, "Underworld" by Graham Hancock is probably the sanest thing I've ever read on the subject (while taking it seriously). It discusses ice age geology, coastal changes, GPS photos, and mythology, underwater archaeology.
Really good stuff, and you won't rush out to buy a head pyramid after reading it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 13, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Listen the Klingon thing was HYSTERICAL. Shatner, 30 years later on another show, out with Spader fighting Klingons!!

Posted by: Steve K | October 14, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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