A Little More Snow

My guess is my friends/family in warmer climes love looking at these and laughing to themselves.

Well, it snowed. It didn’t do exactly what I said. The changeover to rain is now unlikely. At least no one was unprepared.

We’ve got about an 1&#189″. That looks to be the final total.

I opened the door, poked the lens outside and took a few to give you a feel for the day. My guess is my friends/family in warmer climes love looking at these and laughing to themselves.

Stef is heading to New Jersey for a New Year’s Eve party. That leaves Helaine and me home. With only my little roller skate of a car there’s no way we’re leaving.







What Day Is It Again?

It’s tough to talk about the upcoming weekend, aka-tomorrow, when my brain is telling me it’s Monday.

It’s Friday. I know that on an intellectual level. There’s a clock/calendar staring at me on this computer screen just-in-case.

On an emotional level I’m not sure what day this is. It’s probably because I took New Year’s Eve off, only had the late newscasts on New Year’s Day and came to work in a mainly abandoned TV station today. It a rhythm thing I guess. No matter what the reason it’s disconcerting.

I’ll check with my folks later, but I’ll bet calendar confusion runs rampant at the condo.

It’s tough to talk about the upcoming weekend, aka-tomorrow, when my brain is telling me it’s Monday. With two consecutive days off I should be back to normal by the ‘real’ Monday… I hope.

New Year’s Eve On TV

Helaine and I did some intensive TV watching, waiting for the ball to drop. Here are a few observations from the evening.

Does everyone now have a New Year’s Eve show from Times Square… and why? It looked like Fox News, CNN and CNBC were there for longform live shows. Is there that much demand for their … especially when ABC and MTV are also there?

With all the networks and their non-interlocking musical acts, are the bands actually amplified enough to hear or are their outdoor performances a sham for TV? Times Square isn’t big enough to have multiple musical acts performing at the same time without acoustic mayhem.

As it is, it looked like the acts were facing away from their audience. That shot works for TV, allowing a wide expanse of humanity to be on the screen. It’s not very appealing for the people watching in the cold.

Tila Tequila – what’s the deal? I have this fascination with Asian women, but I’m going to draw the line somewhere on this side of her.

At one point a musician picked her up. Dude – wash your hands.

Kid Rock looked like he was dressing to be a sideman in Funkadelic.

How did Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve get a pass from the Writer’s Guild? Dick Clark Productions is a member of the producers organization. This show was scripted. Other DCP shows, like the People’s Choice Awards, have been affected.

Poor Dick himself still sounds terrible and it is painful to watch. I know – that’s my problem. I’m probably wrong for being judgmental in this way.

It should be noted, Dick was able to keep up with the countdown numbers. A few years ago, he was not.

Every year Helaine asks why anyone would go to Times Square. I watch, half expecting to see some act of terrorism. How can it not be a ‘soft’ target?

Why does anyone go? Is anyone there over the age of 25?

As I got set to turn the TV off, I saw Anderson Cooper on CNN with Kathy Grifffin. That’s TVs new odd couple, right? I am sorry I missed them.

Another New Year’s Eve

Helaine has headed to bed. Steffie’s upstairs, watching TV by herself. New Year’s Eve has ended at the Fox house.

We were together at the stroke of midnight. Helaine and I kissed. She always gets choked up at New Year’s. It’s actually very sweet.

The three of us sat together and grazed the TV dial as the new year approached. Everyone station seems to be doing something special tonight.

Tony Orlando was performing in Atlantic City and it was live on Fox News Channel. Good lord – he’s the size of two houses! He and the band looked like poster children for ‘going through the motions.’

In his defense, how many times could you sing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” before going postal?

On NBC, Carson Daly was holding down the fort. Years ago, he was very nice to Steffie. I, in turn, will be nice to Carson. He’s very thin and I’m jealous.

MTV looked like a community access channel, albeit with good lighting. I have no idea who their acts were. I have less idea who their hosts were, except Steffie pointed to one and said, “That’s Perez Hilton.”

Oh, that’s what he looks like.

On ABC, Dick Clark was supported by Ryan Seacrest. You can see Dick’s mind is sharp, and he looks good, but it’s still painful to hear him speak.

Approaching midnight, he had trouble keeping up with the countdown to the ball drop. He actually dropped a number to get back in sync.

He has to have worked hard to get back to where he is. The problem is with me. I need to be more understanding. This is my weakness.

New Year’s Eve is a bittersweet night for Helaine and me. Most years we stayed at home, quietly spending the time together. One year, just after arriving in Connecticut, we went to a party and a former co-worker began to hit on my wife!

Our first New Year’s Eve together, back in Buffalo, we went to a party at our friend Phil’s apartment. Who knows why, but we had a fight. Neither of us remember the specifics. It was twenty four years ago tonight, and it was the closest we ever came to splitting up.

I like New Year’s Eve at home better.

New Years Eve At Home With Dick

Originally we thought we’d be in Los Angeles tonight. That didn’t come about. So, Helaine and I are home. Steffie is with a friend as we change years.

All week I have been talking about snow for tonight. Not a lot, but enough to make things slippery. It started late this afternoon.

Helaine asked Stef if she’d let me drive her. I’m sure Steffie could have made the drive herself, but I think she was happier to not risk it.

We left the house with an inch or two on the ground. As we came to the big hill, heading down to a well traveled road, I stopped and shifted into 4-wheel drive low.

I was about 1/3 of the way down the hill when I spotted a 2-wheel drive sedan stopped in the uphill lane. I pressed the brake to slow, but there was little traction. Even with ABS brakes, the car was beginning to skid.

Quickly, I made the decision to take my foot off the brake pedal. I figured maintaining steering was more important than attempting to stop.

As I continued to approach, the driver of the other car shifted into reverse and started to back down.

On this narrow, curvy road, he wasn’t anywhere near the edge. I nudged our SUV slightly to the right where the snow was uneven – probably rocks or gravel at the side of the road.

We passed this idiot (yes – if you back up, with traffic approaching, in a vehicle that already has shown it can’t grip this road surface, you’re an idiot) with a few inches to spare.

I would be lying if I didn’t say my heart wasn’t beating faster.

The rest of the trip to East Haven was uneventful and slow. We did 40 mph down I-91. Most, but not all of the cars, were slow and cautious.

I dropped Steffie off and headed back north. From home Helaine made the call for Chinese food. Garrison Keillor was coming on the radio and I turned his homey, anachronistic music up loud.

I want to take a second to talk about the Chinese take out place we frequent because they do something that defies description. When Helaine orders she is not asked for name or number (they don’t have caller ID). When I pick up they never ask what I ordered. We always get the right order!

Usually it’s not busy and I had attributed our success to that. Tonight it was busy. It was still the right order, no questions asked – literally.

Now the two of us are home, as we are nearly every New Year’s Eve. I think the last time we went out was when we were dating. We got into a fight and nearly broke up. New Year’s Eve out lost its luster that night.

Later we’ll watch Dick Clark. There’s a certain dread along with the anticipation tonight. Dick Clark was a no show last year, after having a stroke. Now, rumor has it, he is still physically challenged.

Last week word came that a publicity shot of Dick, Ryan Seacrest and Hillary Duff had been Photoshopped so an older picture of Dick could be inserted. He hasn’t been seen at all in any of the live publicity for the show.

I know this is cruel to say. I don’t want to see Dick Clark if he’s not well. Even a valiant effort on his part will put me ill at ease.

The show starts in 11 minutes.

Blogger’s note: I came back on to edit this at 10:46 PM. No Dick Clark yet.

Happy New Year Dick Clark

It’s a family tradition that we don’t go out on New Year’s Eve. There are a few really simple reasons for this. First, I usually work. Second, we don’t drink.

Years ago, the last time we really went out for New Year’s, a drunk guy started making a pass at my wife. In fact (though we laugh about it now) we almost broke up on our first pre-marriage New Year’s Eve together.

This year, we stayed home with Steffie and watched some of the goings on in Times Square. Helaine said she wasn’t, but I was very worried that some masterstroke terrorist act would take place in Times Square while the World watched.

Though we moved back and forth between Fox, MTV and ABC, we mostly stayed with ABC. Sure, I work for an affiliate, but there is also a tradition with Dick Clark. Again this year, for at least the second year in a row, Dick was inside a warm studio above Times Square. I’m sorry. He needs to be outside. And last night, the weather wasn’t all that bad.

I was also upset at the use of Steve Doocey – who represents Fox News Channel’s morning show – as ‘talent.’ This is not to say Steve isn’t good… he is. But, this is another case of cutting your nose to spite your face. Why would ABC want to shine such a bright spotlight on someone who is trying to eat their lunch? Doesn’t anyone in the company realize that using talent from other networks is the equivalent of dumping the Disneyland live shots for Six Flags or Universal?

There was a pretty tough article on Dick Clark in Newsday recently. I’ve attached it to this link.

Maybe because I knew most of this before, or maybe just because it’s becoming more obvious now, I have trouble finding Dick warm and likable. His interaction with others, especially on ‘tosses’ from live shots, or look live taped pieces, is forced and a little too staged.

On the other hand, I’m not ready to cede New Year’s Eve to Ryan Seacrest or the stable of hosts on MTV (none of whom stick out in my mind).

Happy 2004

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