Wednesday, November 08, 2006


DAY AFTER ELECTION DAY SPECIAL . . . the Not Quite Tuesday Top Five!

The last couple of days have been pretty hectic for Our Man in LA, and the blogging has suffered, as it will, from time to time. In fact, look for guest writers and artists (I’m looking in your direction, Our Woman in LA) next week, because I’ll be traveling all over God’s Green Earth to raise money for peaceful coexistence and conflict resolution and stuff like that.

But I’m here now, and today’s been pretty good, so I might as well treat y’all to another edition of the day-late, dollar-short Tuesday Top Five.

Blogger’s note: As you all know, Our Man in LA doesn’t normally go for the political in these parts. It’s just not my scene. But it’s the day following a major mid-term election, and though I promise that I’ll give some non-political dish in my list, I’d be remiss if I didn’t reflect on the massive changes afoot across the country.

So if you hate the political, feel free to skip to the non-political, or just grin and bear it, or whatever. You’ve been warned.

On with the list . . .

5) Rick Santorum’s defeat in Pennsylvania. Awwwwww, did you see Santorum looking all misty and his daughter looking all sad during the big, bad concession speech last night. Heh. I liked it, too.

Now, look, folks, I don’t normally celebrate the sadness and defeat of others (except for when I encounter Texas A&M or Oklahoma Sooner fans – then all bets are off). But Santorum’s a special kind of scuzz who never should have made it into the American political landscape, let alone from a state like Pennsylvania, where people are exposed to at least a minimal amount of book-learning.

Santorum really had it all as a major apologist for the Bush administration. He tried to slip an amendment promoting the stupid, lame-brained theory of intelligent design into the No Child Left Behind Act. He called it the Santorum Amendment. If it had worked, we could have called the act “No Child Left Behind, Except in Science Education When Compared to Other Westernized Nations.” Sheesh.

By the way, Santorum also argued in favor of a wall separating the States and Mexico; he’s also fought for legislation to push for regime change in other nations, but without keeping out companies like Halliburton; and of course, he’s a big fan of the war in Iraq.

In fact, he’s such a big fan of the Iraq war, that in describing it, he made analogies between the U.S. action in the Middle East and . . . wait for it . . .

Wait . . .

THE LORD OF THE RINGS. That’s the one. With the Hobbits. About the war, he said: “As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”

Uh, OK. We’re . . . Hobbits in this? Or elves?

Last word on this subject belongs to none other than Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, who worked with Santorum over the years. Santorum, of course, is known for being fiercely partisan, and for alienating, well, just about everyone who doesn’t think the world is 6,000 years old.

Kerrey’s comment? “Santorum - That's Latin for asshole.”

Bye, Rick. Won’t miss you.

4) Catching up on my Movies. See? See, I’m off politics for an item now. No worries for anyone.

Anyhow, here’s the situation. The wife and I had an opportunity to catch up on the burgeoning Oscar season a little over last weekend. When you live in LA, you pretty much owe it to yourself to go to the movies as much as possible. Sorry to say it, but the theaters are mostly just better, and the crowds are mostly more responsive.

So we caught THE PRESTIGE on Saturday night at the Los Feliz 3, just a couple of short blocks from our house. If you don’t know this one, it’s about two rival illusionists (Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale) at the turn of the century, each obsessed with beating out the other at being the best in the world at their particular craft.

Fun movie, good cast with good performances, interesting script, good direction. Probably about a half hour too long, which made it a B+ instead of an A-. But interesting. Definitely interesting. Certainly worth a watch.

Then on Sunday, we ran over to Sunset and Vine and caught LITTLE CHILDREN at the Arclight Cinerama. It’s directed by Todd Field, who also did IN THE BEDROOM, and this is a likewise cheery little tale. It’s about a bored housewife and stay-at-home dad who start an affair over the summer, while a child molester moves into the neighborhood. See what I mean? Cheery.

It’s the better movie of the two, but if I had to watch either of them again, I’d choose THE PRESTIGE. It’s also a little too long, and really, it’s pretty depressing. And pretty adult. So the tool who brought his five-year-old daughter to the flick will rightly have a lot of therapy bills to pay later on in life. Nice move, Einstein.

Still, always good to get out to the movies.

3) My home state of Ohio. No, not just because Ohio State looks pretty good – even after a close game with Illinois last week. And certainly not because of the Bengals, who do not look like they did last year. Nope, sorry, everyone.

I’m back on politics.

See, if you remember, Ohio was the state that knocked our current president into the winner’s column a couple of years back. In my opinion, it was probably because the genius that the Democrats threw into the ring spent nearly all his time visiting depressed inner-city neighborhoods in Cleveland and Cincinnati. In case you haven’t heard of them, Cleveland and Cincinnati are shrinking industrial cities that have suffered through a lot of poverty and crime over the past 20 or 30 years.

In other words, they’re areas that would have voted for Kerry/Edwards anyway. Meanwhile, Columbus, biggest city in the state and getting bigger all the time, stands as home to much of Ohio’s middle class, NASCAR dads, soccer moms, and so on. Kerry/Edwards didn’t spend much time with them, so alas, they lost Ohio.

Today, though, my home state (known as “the Buckeye State,” “Round on the Ends and Hi in the middle,” “The Birthplace of Aviation,” “The Heart of it All,” and of course, “Home of Jerry Springer!”) went blue.

For the first time since the 80s, the Buckeyes voted in a Democrat for governor, for senator, and in bunches of House races. Even in races that should have been nigh impossible, the boys in blue overtook the guys in red.

In the past, as Ohio has gone, so has the nation gone. Let’s hope that they stay blue a little longer. Like till 2008. Maybe a little longer than that.

2) KARUNA YOGA, on Hillhurst, between Franklin and Finley. It’s a small, cool Yoga studio right near the Alcove (one of Our Woman in LA’s fave hangouts), and it’s become a regular haunt for both of us Wielands.

That’ right, folks, Our Woman in LA and I are doing yoga. Not such a big deal for Steph. She’s been doing yoga for years. Part of her regular workout routine. But now, true to his newfound California lifestyle, I’m doing my share of downward-facing dog poses, too.

Good exercise, truth be told. I sweat more at Karuna than I do when I run. And, if you ask Our Woman in LA, “You’re just doing the easy classes.”

Maybe, but I’m going to keep with it, once or twice a week. Steph’s up to five or six times per week, and I might never get to that point. Doesn’t matter.

The point is expanding the mind, stretching the body . . . that kind of stuff.

Plus, I saw the dude who played Long Duc Dong in SIXTEEN CANDLES there once. How cool is that?

1) OK, I’m going political again. Sorry about this, but look, I won’t even say much. You don’t have to see much in the way of my ranting. Not at all.

Just pictures.

Go ahead, try and make up your own caption to either of these. As for me, I just keep singing "No Time Left For You" by the Guess Who.

Remember that one? They play it on Oldies stations:

No time left for you
On my way to better things
No time left for you
I found myself some wings
No time left for you
Distant roads are calling me
No time left for you

No time for a summer friend
No time for the love you send
Seasons change, and so did I
You need not wonder why
You need not wonder why
There's no time left for you
No time left for you

Well, you get the idea.

It’s like Christmas morning around here, isn’t it?

So long, Rummy. Can’t say we’ll miss you.

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