"Burn My Flag and I'll Show You the Stars!" - L.A. Bumpersticker


Yes, for those of you who have asked, I am on screen, "live" in "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle", and not just another pretty voice. In fact, according to the latest edition of New Times, I'm performing a "cameo role" with the likes of Whoopie Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, Billy Crystal and our dear friend, John Goodman. You will find me singing the Pottsylvanian Anthem and performing my dirty duty as Fearless Leader's (Robert De Niro's) RBTV director in the later part of the film.
Melinda and I enjoyed R & B immensely at the Universal Citywalk cast-and-crew screening, where we sat next to "Rocky" (June Foray) and "Bullwinkle" (Keith Scott) -- who for reasons known only to their agents, do not receive a "single card" credit for their extraordinary voice work in the movie.

And I can be heard, but not seen, which is probably a good thing, in the Farrelly Brothers latest exercise in excess, "Me, Myself & Irene" starring the irrefutable Jim Carrey, who does undeniably one of the greatest double pratfalls you've ever seen. Rent the tape and make me rich.
And although we had to close Arthur Miller's "The Man Who Had All the Luck", Melinda and I are busy playing a married couple in an Antaeus reading of Goldoni's "The Boors" squired by John Apicella; as well as in David Ossman and Judith Walcutt's Otherworld Media centennial production in David's audioplay adaptation of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" for the L.A. Children's Museum.   I'm also playing "Toto" (arf!) alongside Robert Guillaume as the Cowardly Lion, Rene Auberjonois as the Scarecrow, and Nestor Serrano as the Tin Woodsman. Harry Anderson is the mighty and beneficent Oz, Phyllis Diller the Wicked Witch, and Dorothy will be played by Michelle "Harriet the Spy" Trachtenberg. David and I can also be heard, but not seen, which is probably a good thing, in the hilarious and sobering documentary, "Grass."

"I don't care if people think I'm an overactor. People who think that would call Van Gogh an overpainter."
- Jim Carrey


Earthquakes can strike without warning, and being prepared for such a disaster can mean the difference between life and death. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones make it through a quake:
o Those living in areas not prone to earthquakes can respond quickly to the plight of disaster victims in quake zones by smirking and saying complacently, "I told you so."
o To minimize loss and damage in a quake, try not to own things.
o Practice your burrowing-out-from-under-40-tons-of-rubble skills *ahead* of time.
o Look out your window often. If you see a large widening crack moving rapidly from the horizon toward your home, step either to the right or the left.
o Do you have a treasured childhood toy -- perhaps a stuffed animal, such as a teddy bear? Well, let's see Mr. Bear help you now.
o For those who fear earthquakes, it may comfort you to know that a majority of the damage during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake did not come from the tremors themselves, but from the raging fires that consumed most of the city.
o A doorway is the safest place to be! Eat, sleep and work in doorways.
o Be sure to mail your house-insurance payments a full five business days before a major earthquake strikes.
o If you are caught in a major earthquake in Southern California and are part of the entertainment industry, take a moment or two to reflect on how grossly you've wasted your life.
(From wasted film director Lev Spiro, uncredited)

"Stay there. Half-time work of wits, worth no more than full-time work of halfwits."
- Telegram from a NY writer in 30's Hollywood,
as recalled by wag Paul Willson


At the Hatch Gallery in Mar Vista, artist Chris Sicat has dedicated his latest exhibit to a celebration of rejection -- where you can read actual letters beside works that were turned down like hotel beds.
And the most devastating on display in "The Rejection Show" is actually from a psychologist who rejected an artist as a patient due to the "uniqueness of [his] psychological landscape." He recommended that he "look deeply into [his] childhood in order to evaluate [his] behavior."
Or he could call Dr. Laura.
("Cityscapes" by Bobby Cuza in the L.A. Times)

"The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, 'Thus far and no farther.' "
- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


On her show, Schlessinger lashes premarital sex, divorce, cohabitation, pregnancy out of wedlock, and pornography, and condemns those who engage in such activities as "sluts," "dummies," and worse. But over the past few years, thanks largely to Vanity Fair and an unauthorized biography, damaging story after damaging story has trickled out about Schlessinger.
She's a divorcee. She carried on an affair with a married father and eventually broke up his marriage. Then she lived with him for years before they married. She got pregnant before they married. She posed for nude photographs. She talks nonstop about the importance of honoring parents and family, yet has not spoken to her own mother or sister for 15 years. Her life, in short, is full of the weakness and venality she condemns in her callers.
Schlessinger says she's not a hypocrite because all her sins are in the past. A hypocrite is someone who says, "Do as I say, not as I do," she says, but "somebody who says, 'Do as I do, not as I did,' is a teacher."
(By David Plotz, "Slate" Washington Bureau Chief)

"Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment."
- Robert Benchley


According to the Associated Press, George Stephens Finley, 58, was upset that his wife's neutered male poodle/Yorkshire terrier repeatedly tried to engage in sexual activity with another family dog, a male Jack Russell terrier, so he beaned the dog with a plastic vacuum cleaner attachment and flung it against a tree, after which dog lapsed into a coma and had to be put down. Really down. Sheriff's Capt. Mike McQuaig says, "He felt that the dog was a queer-type dog and it made him angry." Although Finley maintained he struck the dog accidentally, a jury ruled him guilty of a hate crime -- fatally beating a dog because he thought it was gay -- and he could get up to a year in jail.
(From Eric Boardman)

"If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't."
- Lyall Watson

"If you add all of the inside numbers of a roulette table (36+35+34, etc.) together, you end up with a sum of 666."
- Tim Tuffield

[Go to next column to continue reading]


Concert Program Notes: "Tonight's page turner, Ruth Spelke, studied under Ivan Schmertnick at the Boris Nitsky School of Page Turning in Philadelphia. She has been turning pages here and abroad for many years for some of the world's leading pianists.
In 1988, Ms. Spelke won the Wilson Page Turning Scholarship, which sent her to Israel to study page turning from left to right. She is winner of the 1984 Rimsky Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee Prestissimo Medal, having turned 47 pages in an unprecedented 32 seconds. She was also a 1983 silver medalist at the Klutz Musical Page Pickup Competition: contestants retrieve and rearrange a musical score dropped from a Yamaha. Ms. Spelke excelled in 'grace, swiftness, and especially poise...'
For techniques, Ms. Spelke performs both the finger-licking and the bent-page corner methods. She works from a standard left bench position, and is the originator of the dipped-elbow page snatch, a style used to avoid obscuring the pianist's view of the music. She is page turner in residence in Fairfield Iowa, where she occupies the coveted Alfred Hitchcock Chair at the Fairfield Page Turning Institute. Ms. Spelke is married, and has a nice house on a lake."
(From Jon Delphin, source unknown)

"Most people have overestimated how much money they need and have miscalculated the work-to-play ratio."
- Ray Magliozzi, co-author of
"In Our Humble Opinion" by Click and Clack,
the Tappet Brothers,
as quoted in Time.


From many planeteers came the winning entries of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest, for which the participants are asked to pen the first line of a novel:
10. "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the sound chamber he would never hear the end of it."
9. "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."
8. "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."
7. "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the east wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.' "
6. "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."
5. "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store."
4. "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."
3. "Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."
2. "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word 'fear,' a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."
And --
1. "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!' "

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read -- I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality? I do."
- Bush on abortion: Hardball,MSNBC 5/31


The Daily Mail reports that the British are the sex machines of Europe, starting younger and lasting longer during their more frequent bouts of love-making than any other people on the continent, according to a survey which claims that the average Brit has sex more than 2,500 times during his or her lifetime, with five different partners.
On average, sex lasts 21 minutes - longer than any other European nation and third only to the Americans and Brazilians. The Italian average is a mere 14 minutes while Thais take only 10 minutes. The Brazilians, whose love-making takes an average of 30 minutes, also have the most partners and are most tolerant of infidelity but 44 per cent of Brazilian women admit to "faking it".
The survey, which draws on research in biology, psychology and social anthropology, was drawn up by Professor Judith Mackay, an adviser to the World Health Organisation and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. The Penguin Atlas of human sexual behaviour - due to be published next month - also finds that 46 per cent of American women think a good night's sleep is better that sex. And 23 per cent of Germans are sexually stimulated by under-arm odor. Tell us something we DON'T know.
(Larry Belling, a Yank in the UK)

"Kids in the back seat cause accidents. Accidents in the back seat cause kids."
- Joke


(From the good Doctor, Barry Kohn, the first of three stories with a moral):

A rabbit is walking down the road. He sees a crow very, very high up on a pole. The rabbit says, "Hello Mr. Crow, what are you doing?"
The crow says, "Absolutely nothing."
The rabbit says, "Oh, can I do absolutely nothing too?"
The crow says, "Why certainly Mr. Rabbit."
So the rabbit sits there doing absolutely nothing. A fox comes along and eats the rabbit!
The moral of the story:


"Life isn't something that happens 'to' you; it is something that happens 'through' you."
- Dr. Ernest Holmes, "The Science of Mind"


George Mair, writes in his latest LALA Land Letter: "Many are recalling enjoyment given us by actor Walter Matuschanskayasky who just died. We knew him as grumpy, funny Walter Matthau. If he could read his obituary today, he would be struck that people seem to die in alphabetical order."
Farewell as well to David Tomilson of "Mary Poppins" fame who said, "I'm used to working with children, chimney sweeps and cartoon animals"; to Harold Nicholas, of the legendary tapping Nicholas Brothers, who exited right before their scheduled tribute at the John Anson Ford Theater on Saturday; and to Friedenreich Hundertwasser (ne Stowasser), eccentric Viennese artist who hangs in my livingroom but is best known for designing a multi-hued apartment building lacking straight lines, which he deemed -- "the tool of the devil."


"I don't want to earn my living; I just want to live."
- Oscar Wilde



(C) 2000 by Phil Proctor

Published 7/22/00