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Nice Weekend
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Monday, 2007-April-30 • 09:59
There was a time in my life when I was busy. That time has passed and now, I spend as much time figuring out what to do as I spend doing. So, it was nice to loll about in bed this morning thinking about the week-end.

Friday night, I had dinner with some friends. A nice, comfortable, pleasant dinner. For once I wasn't the last one eating. That is probably because I spent a proper amount of time eating rather than talking.

Saturday night I joined some friends for a little local theater. More dinner, too. Great conversation. They drove...another plus. Of course, I sat in the back seat and in the half a dozen in-and-outs managed to kick one half of a new pair of shoes out into some parking lot. The play was very good.

Some of my most memorable (pleasantly) theater moments were 'small potatoes'. In a small city outside of Tacoma, Washington, I saw a production of My Fair Lady. The exuberance, and sheer delight from the cast made it a special performance and one I thoroughly enjoyed and remember 23 years later. In San Diego, I got a local theater production of Death of A Salesman that struck a perfect chord. I can add the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) production of Streetcar Named Desire to that list. It wasn't perfect but the high-points balanced any nitpicks. The actor who did Stanley actually acted. Stella kept pace with Stanley. Blanche needed direction, but all the basics were waiting to be released by a strong directorial hand. I didn't mean for this to sound like a newspaper review...just say I enjoyed it a lot.

Brunch on Sunday morning with my brothers, nephews, and wives. (Have I lost my San Francisco urbanity when I compare ALL buffets to Old Country Buffet?) Caught the movie Hot Fuzz and ended with some Sopranos. All and all, I hope your week-end was as good as mine.

Not bad. Got a bunch of mail I have to answer and I'll do that soon. I am going on a little vacation next week so I have to get busy. (Vacation from what?) Sorry if this sounded like Dear Diary...As if a bunch of strangers really want to know about all the above....but.....

"....I have always been dependant on the kindness of strangers.."

Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Thursday, 2007-April-26 • 16:52
I made a mistake last night. I TIVO'd American Idol and the silly system I have doesn't let me dump HD video to disc. I will admit that I fast-forwarded ALL the pitches for $. I know there are hungry people in Africa, but you can't force them to call Domino's. And with all the government programs, church programs, free-this and free-that, I can't imagine people in the U.S. going to bed hungry. At the same time, you can't blame the kids for lazy parents. Oops! I'm getting political!

What got me upset watching the special performances was: It was damn good and I wanted a permanent copy. Thank God for time zones. I called a friend in CA and he is making a disc for me! It's nice to know that my family will sell it at a yard-sale when I croak.

How have I missed Il Divo? These four young tenors sang one of my top 10 All-Time favorite songs from West Side Story. I cry when Marnie Nixon sings it for Natalie Woods and watching them (over and over) last night I got shivers up my spine. And Josh Groban. I've been a fan since the beginning and even though he must be sick of singing You Lift Me Up, last night was fantastic! Even Rascal Flats was super. And the computer thing with Elvis...it was just amazing. If you missed it (got bored with the charity stuff) you missed some good TV. Even the Stayin' Alive lip-sync bit was good.

How I admire people who have ability and the passion and dedication to pursue their talent.

Once in a while I get a forward that I REALLY enjoy. Comes to mind the puppet guy from a couple of months ago. And this little simple thing from yesterday. Thanks, Mark.

HOW TO START EACH DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK: 1. Open a new file in your computer. 2. Name it 'Hillary Rodham Clinton' 3. Send it to the trash. 4 Empty the trash. 5. Your PC will ask you, 'Do you really want to get rid of 'Hillary Rodham Clinton?' 6. Firmly Click 'Yes.' 7. Feel better? PS: Next week we'll do Nancy Pelosi
Isn't that funny? BTW...I was going to buy the Il Divo CD (If there is one) today, but thought I'd wait. I can just imagine some snotty Gen Y clerk saying, "Oh...you watched American Idol..."

"...somewhere a place for us...."
Not Very Funny
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Wednesday, 2007-April-25 • 12:01
I am so tired of morning show jocks getting in trouble. One side of me sides with the hosts. I remember how a single Mormon father in the Twin Cities made life Hell at U100. It just irks me, the hubris it takes, for a single person/group to set themselves up to decide what the rest of the world should hear. The mantra "turn the station if you don't like it" just doesn't work with them.

When I think back on some of my best work, I realize I would be in hot water for most of my career. The PC crowd are winning in their quest to destroy broadcast radio humor. I used to listen to Phil Hendrie and he often lamented the future of comedy radio was bleak. He might have been right.

BUT! Did you figure there was a..but? I am prompted to comment on this subject because, of course, it is top-of-the-mind because of the Imus and the latest CBS morning show bruhaha. I have little sympathy for either of these shows because they committed the ultimate morning show crime. They weren't very funny. How can anybody think that cranky, weird, self-indulgent, D.I. was funny? He had a lot of funny people helping him but the proof of this was the week AFTER he left and the Imus show was funnier than ever. And, I'm sorry, but Crank Phone calls are about as innovative (and in this particular case) and funny as a rubber crutch.

I suppose there was somebody enjoying these guys and the others we've heard of in the last few years. They are paid a kazillion dollars and I suspect this has all happened because the people with the checkbooks couldn't tell funny if it grabbed them by the ass. And, I'm not a Mormon father, so I won't try to control what is available on the morning shows of new millenium radio. I'll just do what everyone should do. Turn the station.

"...tomato...tomahto...potato....potahto..let's call the whole thing off.."
Back Grinding
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Tuesday, 2007-April-24 • 09:49
I actually don't have much of a grind these days and when given a moment to think about it don't miss the grind a bit.

I celebrated my birthday with friends over the week-end. Birthdays are supposed to get less important with GREAT age, but I still enjoy them. A friend of mine is doing a show in Chicago and couldn't come to Minnesota so we all met there. That gave me a chance to ride AMTRAK back to Mpls. and I really enjoy that. Screw your airplane!

For some reason, I have such a slow heart-rate that I have the tendency to have a loss of blood pressure in certain situations and the body compensates for that by causing me to faint. It happens mostly when I laugh too hard. Isn't that nuts? Anyway, I was telling people about that at the party and my 'friends' just thought this was the funniest thing they have ever heard. I could be injured seriously in a fall, but that doesn't worry them a bit. They just laugh like loons. We were hanging out after dinner having some drinks and laughing about really stupid stuff. At one point I was laughing so hard, as a joke, I said, "Hold on a minute...", got out of the chair, stretched out on the floor, and said, "O.K. You can continue now." Once again I got the best laugh of the night.

So here is a question...For $10,000,000 would you agree that every morning, for the rest of your life, within 3 minutes of awakening, someone (random people,genders, and ages) would knock on your door and when you answered it, they would lick your ear for 15 seconds?

I can't imagine why anyone would say they wouldn't do it. I am off to see Fractured...hope it doesn't snow.

"...the old grey mare she ain't what she used to be..."
Thursday Musings
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Thursday, 2007-April-19 • 17:28
At lunch today someone told me they are making a movie with the cavemen from the Geico TV ads! There's one I'll be missing.

We were also talking about money making ideas in the new century and I was reminded of the Senator in the early 1900's who wanted to save money by closing the patent office. He said it might as well be closed since everything had already been invented. Anyone who has EVER been to lunch with me knows I have a story for every situation (much like Abraham Lincoln) and if I don't have a real story, I can always make one up on the spot. In this case I was reminded of a guy I was chatting with in 1997. He was a computer programming major at Stanford so he must have had something going for him. I suggested that we come up with the next big computer internet or software idea and make us each a billion dollars or so. We weren't on the same page, though, because he said it was too late...all the good ideas had already been done. Of course, it was the next year that a couple of guys in a garage came up with Google. Anyway...since I spend money like a jungle grocery store sells monkey meat, I am always looking for new sources of income. My discount male prostitute job just didn't cut it.

I'm going to Chicago for the week-end and if something interesting happens on AMTRAK I'll let you know. Have a great week-end and stop complaining about your inability to reply to these blogs. I'm working on it.

"...on State Street, that great street...."
Oatmeal Problems
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Wednesday, 2007-April-18 • 07:58
While making some oatmeal this morning, I was frustrated when I needed 1 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup of oatmeal. To measure accurately involved THREE measuring cups. I had to use a cup, a half-cup, AND a quarter cup. I wish they would make a 1 1/2 cup and a 3/4 cup size. Don't argue that I could use a Pyrex measuring cup with the markings because: 1. I would need two or the oatmeal would stick to the wet cup, and 2. I would have to hold it up or bend over to see the water level.

And finally, I know oatmeal for breakfast is 'heart-healthy'. Does it retain these qualities if you melt a glob of butter in the steaming concoction?

"May I have some more?"
A Smile Wouldn't Hurt
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Tuesday, 2007-April-17 • 16:36
This afternoon I took a swing through the Mall and noticed all the unhappy people who work there. The various kiosks selling cell phones, candy, shades, and a bunch of other stuff were uniformly staffed by bored, cranky, disinterested, Gen Y's. Is the job so terrible? These kids live at a wonderful time with wonderful opportunities and they all look like someone nearby is killing puppies.

This brings to mind last Saturday. I went to the local Home Show to check out the latest in gutters and floor systems. I don't plan on buying a gutter, but since I've spent so much time in them, it seems only fitting I would see what advances have been made.

A local radio station had a presence at the Home Show. They used to always lecture us that we only have one chance to make a first impression. If this is the case, my impression of this radio station is disinterested, bored, un-hip, crabby, slovenly, and angry. Far be it from me to comment on someone's weight but a scowling fat guy, sitting on his ass, eyes crossed in boredom, doesn't speak well for the radio station. Now maybe all his smiles were reserved for his Gen Y listeners and not an old geezer like me. I would be willing to bet he is an equal opportunity scowler. Who's fault is it? The management? The PD? The industry? How about dressing nice (hip) and not like an escapee from a model railroad club convention. How about standing rather than sitting. Greeting rather than frowning. How about a nice kick in the ass and a generous dose of actright!

I DID run into Pat Kelly, the news anchor on Channel 3. He sent me a nice email a couple of years back and it was nice to chat with him about his visit to KDWB back when he had hair and I had a career.

What came up (as it always does) were lamintations of the lack of personality radio. My guess is that if you don't have personality on the air, you don't have it at the Home Show.

The first impression. One of the reasons my co-workers may remember my quick gargle and spit into the waste-basket before greeting the folks.

Now I must go watch Sanjaya prove that a great smile can make up for a dearth of talent.

"...I just stick out my chin and grin and say...."
Trains And Planes And Automobiles
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Monday, 2007-April-16 • 21:37
Lately I have been dreaming that a good friend of mine installed a FABULOUS model railroad in his basement. As one of my fine friends said, "Rob, you're queer for trains." In the dream, his model layout is big enough to ride. In other parts of the web-site I've written about other life-long obsessions. The movie The Way of All Flesh haunted me for 50 years until dear Moon scared up a source and satisfied that itch. I love to read, the soft breezes, scented with salt or pine (or in the case of San Francisco-urine), rifling the pages of my book. And now I have the time to do it.

And that all brings me to robsherwood.com and the NEW addition. A blog. OMG! Next thing I'll be talking on a cell-phone while grocery shopping and buying things at Starbucks! Wait! I already do those things. Now, I can die. Just as I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace and my own website, a friend suggested a blog would let me post all the things I think about but never get around to getting on the site. I know at least 7 people who will read everything I blog. Maybe 7 people who will CLAIM they read everything, but I suspect at least 3 of them would not pass a quiz. I'm not sure another one can actually read, so that leaves 2. Did I ever mention I failed math in the 11th grade?

If you think my life has been banal and trivial, you will be surprised to find out you've been right all along. And now, I get to share it all. Is it possible for one's ego to be any larger? There are actually some interesting things coming up. I'm going to England for the wedding of a good friends younger son. They've been shacking up for 5 years so I guess the honeymoon won't have any surprises. I wish it were possible to get there without taking an airplane but it's asking a lot for AMTRAK to just get me to California. My history with cars is checkered and I don't get excited about them. I hate driving. Maybe I'd feel better about it if I were driving a Bently.

Finally, the question of blogging replies. I just don't have the dedication to 'police' things BUT...if you don't mind the delay you can and may email and I will happily post your comments. You may even remain anonymous or use a clever sobriquet. I leave you with my favorite movie (Strangers On A Train) and my favorite current TV show (The Office). I put those in because I was actually asked about both topics in an email. Catch you all next time.
"....whimpering, simpering child again..."
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