Blog Archive

Bathing With The Drunken Viking: Holiday Edition . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, December 30, 2008 25 comments

{This is the 24th entry in a recurring series that will only happen when I have consumed far too many spirits with my brother. Last night, we ran through the 2008 batch of Anchor's Christmas Ale which triggered strange thoughts, candid insights and pure horseshit. Selah.}

* It's always best to start the New Year with a freshly shaved scrotum.

* Never wear a flashy piece of new Christmas clothing for at least one month following the holiday

* New Year's Eve is amateur night for drinkers - plan accordingly.

* If anyone ends a story about their baby or significant other with: "Isn't that cute," then the answer is always 'No'.

* The Lexus car commercials every Christmas never fail to annoy me.

* New Year's Eve should only be spent with your closest friends, or occasionally, a high-end escort.

* It is always a poor idea to try on a bathing suit during the winter.

* Candy Canes are for suckers.

* A large fire is the best company for a glass of whiskey.

* Don’t be the guy at the New Year's party wearing the stupid hat unless you want to kiss yourself at midnight.

{Editor's Note: I realize this is vaguely ironic given the Viking hat which kicks off this series}

* A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal." Oscar Wilde

* Everyone have a safe, fun and wildly succesful New Year's celebration. $2 Dollar Productions will be back in 2009 for another run . . .


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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, December 24, 2008 18 comments

Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. - Kevin Costner, "Bull Durham"

This was a fine speech in an outstanding movie, and while I'm generally in favor of opening gifts on Christmas morning itself, I will be opening gifts for the next three days and I'm fine with that comprimise. Life is full of them.

But before I leave for the open road that leads straight to my grandparents house - a land where the Internet does not roam - let me say that I hope everyone has a hell of a good holiday as some time off sounds perfect to me right now.

Ho, ho, ho . . . And safe travels,


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Thoughts on "Milk" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, December 22, 2008 14 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Full price if you're looking for pure Oscar-bait material, and have a strong interest in Harvey Milk. Otherwise, a matinee would be an exceptional value.

Will I Own It On DVD: Probably not. I'm really glad I saw this film, and although it was extremely well-done and powerful, I can't imagine re-watching it enough to justify buying it.

1) "Milk" kicked off my annual round-up of films which I assume will be up for major Oscar contention, a list that also includes "Slumdog Millionare," "The Wrestler," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (I could care less about "Doubt" and refuse to see it).

That being said, I wasn't overly excited about seeing "Milk," however, the movie turned out far better than I anticipated as it provided a striking history lesson that was anchored by a terrific performance by Sean Penn.

2) Rarely do movies get released during times when the current political or cultural landscape parallels the different era captured on film. "Milk" is an exception as it feels very relevant with the recent defeat of Proposition 8 in California as the major issue at the heart of the movie was Harvey Milk's crusade to defeat passage of Proposition 6 in California during the 1980s, a law which would have made it legal to remove people from their jobs if they were determined to be gay.

3) Sean Penn gives a phenomenal performance as Harvey Milk. This comes as no surprise since he seems incapable of turning in a bad job, but the surprising part in this movie was Penn's ability to dial-down his usual raging intensity and channel it in an extremely understated way. The trick to his performance is that he was still absolutely riveting while restraining his typical brashness and this allowed him to disappear into the character.

4) James Franco, Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch led a supporting cast that nearled equaled Penn. Brolin continued his hot streak (although the script never gave him much to do or delved deeply enough into his ultimately violent psyche), and Hirsch overcame a shaky opening scene to deliver a really fine performance.

But it was Franco who really grounded the film as he played Penn's on and off again boyfriend. Their relationship felt very genuine as the two actors played well off each other, and balanced out the political landscape of the film with a compelling personal angle.

I generally find Franco to be a pompous blowhard in interviews, however, he was great this year in both "Milk" and as a pothead in "Pineapple Express," so I have to give him his due credit.

5) Gus Van Sant tells a fine story in "Milk" with a return towards his more commercial instincts (see "Good Will Hunting") versus his hard-core indie ventures (see "Elephant" or "Gerry" or don't). He paces "Milk" extremely well, pulls fine performances from his cast and builds the tension and drama so steadily that you don't notice just how powerful it becomes until the ending. The fact that it's mainly a true story only enhances the experience.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 19, 2008 19 comments

"You don't got nothing to do with your life. Why don't you get a job? Work with lepers. Blind kids. Anything's gotta be better than lying around all day waiting for me to fuck you." - Al Pacino, "Scarface"

I watched that movie again this week as it had been a long time, and I'd forgotten what an incredible scumbag Al Pacino was in that project. But I'm feeling far from thuggish today as the week is nearly over and for once, I have no holiday parties clouding my weekend schedule.

So, before I escape early from the office, let's look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Tara Reid entered rehab this week for an undisclosed addiction, according to People magazine.

"Tara Reid has checked herself into Promises Treatment Center. We appreciate your respect to her and her family's privacy at this time," said actress's rep, Jack Ketsoyan. Reid told People in October that she was a "social drinker" who enjoyed an occasional glass of wine with friends.

The problem was that Reid's "friends" always included Jack (Daniels), Jim (Beam) and Gordon (Gin).

A used tissue with snot and lipstick from Scarlett Johansson was being sold on eBay this week.

Johansson used the tissue during her appearance on Wednesday's "Tonight" show while she promoted 'The Spirit' movie. After Jay Leno handed her the tissue, Johansson announced she would sell it on eBay to raise money for the hunger relief charity USA Harvest and then blew twice.

As of Thursday morning, the dirty tissue had snagged more than 60 bids and the highest sat at $2,050.

I only wish my own soiled tissues would fetch as much money because I could have retired during middle school if that were the case.

It was reported this week that Madonna had given Guy Ritchie between 50 and 60 million pounds ($76-92 million) as part of their divorce settlement.

Both the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters reported the figures, but now the couple are distancing themselves from the accuracy of the details.

"We have tried to maintain a dignified silence regarding the details of our divorce for the last few months whilst accepting the obvious media interest," said a joint statement from the pair. "A misleading and inaccurate statement, specifically in relation to the sums of money involved, was wrongly issued to AP this week."

Richie also said it's hard to remain dignified "when I'm bloody, stinkin' rich you bunch of poor punters."

Rumors surfaced this week that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's marriage is on the rocks after J. Lo was seen at the premiere of 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' without her 8-carat diamond wedding ring or Anthony.

Sources close to the couple are saying that their marriage is strained. An inside source says, "They both didn't wear their rings on purpose. Nothing Jennifer does is without purpose." Another source adds that, "He's very, very controlling of her. The skirts aren't as short. You don't see so much of that booty anymore."

And if you don't see Lopez's booty anymore, then it's no wonder her career has floundered as that's akin to Samson cutting off his hair.

Bassist Pete Wentz from the band Fall Out Boy told Howard Stern this week about his steamy sex life with Ashlee Simpson.

The musician revealed to Stern that the young married couple have such an “amazing” sex life that if they had been on the show last year, they would “probably be doing it in the green room right now” and went onto state that Ashlee “loves giving me lap dances. She gives a mean lap dance,” and that she wears thongs and “sexy clothes.”

He later added that he probably would have thought about a threesome with his wife and her sister, pop tart Jessica Simpson a long time ago.

In response to the last bit, Jessica Simpson was seen Falling Out of her chair and throwing up in her mouth.

Scottsdale police arrested a Phoenix man early Wednesday after he allegedly pushed a nightclub security guard while trying to get close to actress Lindsay Lohan.

Police say Lohan and gal-pal Samantha Ronson were trying to leave the Jackrabbit Lounge nightclub and security guards were trying to hold back the crowd when the 38-year-old fan became disruptive. He was booked on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and later released.

The most disturbing part of this story is that Lohan still draws enough of a crowd to require security.

Actor Jeremy Piven has abruptly left the hit Broadway revival of David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow," blaming a high mercury count, Daily Variety reported on Thursday.

After missing Tuesday night's performance and a Wednesday matinee, Piven took his doctors' advice that he should end his run immediately because of a high mercury count, the paper quoted a spokeswoman for the actor.

In response, Mamet said: "I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury," Mamet told Daily Variety. "So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It was a deathly slow in Hollywood shenanigans this week, but as always, let's end with a gold image or two:

I was never a Boy Scout, thus anyone who can tie a knot always earns a healthy amount of respect from me. That being said, be careful not to tie yourself in knots today, always stretch your back before engaging in playtime and . . . Happy Friday!


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Christmas, Tags & Opium Dens . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, December 17, 2008 14 comments

I finished up all my Christmas shopping and charity giving yesterday, which felt pretty damn good since the holiday is suddenly only a week away.

Now, I can simply enjoy the time of year where drivers lose their minds, store clerks engage in urban warfare and bartenders make money hand over fist from people attempting to escape the madness.

But I am leaving the seedy underbelly behind me. This allows me to focus on the seasonal positives, an outlook I generally enjoy because I have a long-standing affection for Christmas. Giving and receiving gifts is a fine pastime, the once-a-year food orgy is enjoyable and the sight of a grand, decorated tree can occasionally cause a powerful erection to take root in me (must be the smell of pine).

It also affords me time to answer blog tags as I have a streak to keep alive. So, with that in mind, here is one from Pobble:

RULE ONE: I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

I learn in Phnom Penh that there is but one opium boatman left of the many who once plied the turbulent Mekong. He is an old man, and after him, the river trade will end. Every month, he comes down river, stopping at a few ports - Phnom Penh is one of them - where he sells opium to individual smokers and to those who deal in pellets for eating. In these same ports, he buys or barters for cheap clothing, which he brings back upriver to sell. His home port is unknown, but his monthly journey downriver is believed to begin near the heart of the Golden Triangle. "The Last Opium Den," - Nick Tosches

This is a great stocking stuffer of a book as I have used it several times over the past few years. It is far smaller than your average book in both size and pages, and boasts an entertaining exploration of one man's search for opium in a hostile world. It is quite a journey. The author, Nick Tosches, is also a really good writer whose vocabulary is top-notch.

The volume makes a compelling case that smoking a bit of opium - pure, unfiltered opium - might result in a very pleasant existence. My main lament is that there seems to be no opium palaces left on the face of the Earth. At one point in history, they existed and thrived and featured silk drapings, intricate pipes, women and, of course, opium.

Sadly, they have disappeared forever (likely), which is a shame because now that I have some extra time on my hands, I could certainly get behind a little relaxation and silk scarves to unwind.


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Corporate Etiquette 112 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, December 15, 2008 19 comments

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the 12th in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

I survived my company holiday party this past weekend, and overall, it went as well as it possibly could have given the inherently limited potential of such events.

{Editor's Note: This was NOT my actual Christmas party}

All the standard party checklists were accounted for: Drink coupons on the name tags, chicken or fish, speculation concerning who the slutty intern might sleep with, small amount of face-time with the CEO to prove you were there, speeches about company accomplishments, and there was even a Happy Holiday card to each employee which contained a crisp $100 bill.

That last bit was a nice touch.

Around 9:47 p.m., I was feeling quite lucky. Everyone I needed to greet had been found, there was no awkward dancing about to happen and everyone was finished eating which meant a stealthy exit for my wife and I that would draw little attention. But I needed to use the bathroom, which was where the trouble began.

The Men's Room was located at the back of the ballroom. I walked inside and heard a muffled giggle. This should have immediately caused me to spin around and exit, however, I ignored the sound and strolled further inside to find a lone man standing at the urinal with a drink in one hand while his other appendage was trying desperately to rescue his pants from around his ankles.

This wasn't the bothersome aspect. Instead, it was the fact that the man was wearing black bikini briefs that seemed to feature a hot pink striped pattern running throughout the fabric. I can't be completely sure as I averted my eyes and walked to the sink to wash my hands and settle my mind.

The strangest part of the whole thing was that I'm almost positive he worked in our engineering department. I hate to generalize about people, however, if there was one section of the company that I doubted would boast even a single pair of bikini underwear among them, it would be the engineering department.

But obviously I was wrong as here was a pair of pink and black ones peering out from an unsteady hand that simply couldn't register that setting the drink down would allow him to raise his pants.

It was time to leave. I raced from the bathroom - bladder still full - and walked quickly outside where my wife was waiting. The ride home was quiet as I focused on not making a mess in my new car while also attempting to cleanse my mind of a bizarre Christmas party image.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 12, 2008 24 comments

"That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned." - Clint Eastwood, "Unforgiven"

I'm not going postal at work today, however, I'm not entirely happy about another weekend filled with obligatory holiday parties. Spending time at corporate parties and then with neighbors who are more acquaintances than friends doesn't fill me with the holiday spirit, but sometimes we all make sacrifices - and drink heavily.

But before I start coming up with excuses to leave early from the festivities, let's look at the important stories of the week such as:

A guitarist has sued members of Coldplay by claiming the band's smash hit "Viva La Vida" copied parts of one of his songs.

The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed by Joe Satriani, who claims Coldplay copied "substantial, original portions" of his 2004 song, "If I Could Fly." Satriani wants a federal judge to order an accounting to determine how much money he may be owed, or else stop using the song.

The judge refused to rule on the motion until he could determine if Satriani is actually an elevator.

Oprah Winfrey told the January issue of "O" magazine out Tuesday that she now weighs 200 pounds and has "fallen off the wagon" when it comes to healthy living.

"Yes, you're adding correctly; that means the dreaded 2-0-0," Winfrey writes. "I was so frustrated I started eating whatever I wanted — and that's never good."

Winfrey also announced plans to change her popular Christmas show - "Oprah's Favorite Things" - to "Oprah's Favorite Things to Eat."

Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the 'Harry Potter' series, discussed potential nude roles this week to a London newspaper.

At 18 years old, Watson told the paper that she is “not a woman yet, but I’m not a girl anymore" before adding the talk of future nude roles. “Yes,” she says. “For Bernardo Bertolucci. It ... depends. I’m not getting my kit off any time soon, but it is part of my job.”

Immediately, millions of adult 'Harry Potter' fanatics have locked themselves in their parent's basements, and began work on screenplays featuring a young girl with superpowers also likes to get buck naked.

Paula Abdul lashed out at 'American Idol' producers this week for allowing known stalker Paula Goodspeed to get close to her.

Abdul gave an interview to Sirius XM and said she begged producers not to let her audition for Season 5 of the FOX talent show. Despite Abdul's requests, the producers ushered Goodspeed into the room.

"She had been writing disturbing letters for 17 years, almost 18 years," Abdul, 46, said in the interview. "We had restraining orders at times."

In fairness to the 'American Idol' producers, Abdul also requested they keep a gang of purple unicorns from occupying her dressing room and borrowing her clothes, a repeated request which they tried to fulfill before ultimately deciding that Abdul was somewhat crazy.

Michael Jackson's famous glittery glove is set to go on the auction block.

The glove was originally unveiled in the 1983 video for Jackson's hit "Billie Jean," and will be part of a five-day auction next year that also includes more than 2,000 other personal items, Julien's Auctions announced Wednesday.

I just hope that whomever wins the glove washes it thoroughly before using it.

Ricky Martin showed off the first photos of his twin boys this week as they are set to appear in an upcoming issue of "People" magazine.

The twins were born last summer to a surrogate mother, a choice that the "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer said "was an intriguing and faster option."

He later added the surrogacy was also easier "because . . . You know I like men."

In other magazine news, Jennifer Aniston wears a tie - and nothing else - on the January cover of GQ magazine and per usual, the subject of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt was addressed.

Asked about Jolie's past remarks about falling for Pitt on the set of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Aniston says: "No daggers through the heart. I laugh. Am I surprised? ... Considering the source, nothing surprises me."

For me, it would be a pleasant surprise if Aniston stopped talking about the subject.

Josh Hartnett won 20,000 pounds ($30,000) in libel damages from a British newspaper that claimed he engaged in "steamy shenanigans" in a public area of a London hotel.

The tabloid Daily Mirror claimed in a September article that Hartnett and an unknown woman had their sexual tryst in the library of the Soho Hotel and that it was caught on CCTV. Lawyer Victoria Jolliffe for the newspaper's publisher acknowledged Thursday that the allegations were false and that the newspaper apologized for any "distress, hurt and embarrassment" it had caused.

It's just like Hartnett to sue over a story that finally made him seem vaguely interesting.

As always, let's end on a high note with a few gold images:

A little brazen nudity never hurt anyone I always say, and obviously these people agree. So, ignore the chill in the air, remember that there are ways to stay warm in the nude and . . . Happy Friday!


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A Job The Economy Should Shed . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, December 10, 2008 22 comments

I went to a nice steakhouse last night where nearly everything was perfect - the cut of meat, the red wine, the asparagus - until I visited the bathroom. Then, things turned ugly.

It wasn't the bathroom itself, but rather the gentleman hovering inside the walls who made me uneasy. And angry.

I believe I've railed against bathroom attendants in the past, however, this is one topic where my irritation level has not ebbed, been diluted or softened. This is a job that needs to be banished from the face of the Earth.

Being a grown man, I have years of experience using the bathroom - alone.

I don't need a chaperone or someone shouting encouragement. I don't require another man to turn on the faucet or hand me a paper towel to dry my hands. Adults are veterans when it pertains to cleansing themselves. Even though children might need some help now and again, I don't believe a strange gentleman wearing a suit is the best solution for that scenario either in less you enjoy being slapped with lawsuits.

I can think of absolutely no good reason for these attendants to exist, and the worst part is that you're expected to tip them for providing their awkward presence while you're valiantly trying to urinate. Madness.

From the attendants perspective, this can't be a rewarding job. I don't make it a habit to linger in bathrooms, preferring to simply take care of my business and flee. But the bathroom is their office, so they are trapped inside the one place where the human condition is often at its most barbaric. It doesn't work for anyone.

The worst part was that I drank a lot of water throughout the day and then there was wine with dinner, a combination which sent me towards the bathroom three times before I left (it was a long, long meal). This also cost me $3 in tips.

I believe the next time I visit, I'll just urinate in a restaurant corner in protest until the attendant is re-assigned to another task.


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"The Shield" Goes Dark . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, December 08, 2008 14 comments

"The Shield" closed its doors recently with a 90-minute series finale which delivered a powerful punctuation mark for a show that advanced the relevance of original programming on basic cable and provided a riveting slant on the tired cop show genre.

When "The Shield" premiered on FX, there was very little programming that dealt with anything remotely edgy outside of what was being done on HBO with "The Sopranos" and others such as "Six Feet Under." Luckily, "The Shield" caught on immediately and set records for basic cable viewers after critics hailed its raw, gritty style and terrific ensemble cast.

Early in Season 1, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) says something to the effect of "Good cop and bad cop have left the building. I'm a different kind of cop." Indeed. Despite a stellar supporting cast, it was Chiklis's turn as Vic Mackey which gave the series its propulsive adrenaline rush, and over the course of seven seasons, he carved out one of the greatest antiheroes in television history.

Mackey led a police department "Strike Team" that was designed to infiltrate gang activities in Los Angeles and control the streets. Along with three other members - Walton Goggins, David Rees Snell, and Kenny Johnson - the Strike Team utilized every legal and illegal method they needed to advance their work.

It was their illegal methods, however, that placed them in the cross-hairs of the internal affairs department and led to a season one murder that haunted the group until the end. This was a quick turning point in the series, and showed viewers that Mackey and the Strike Team would stop at nothing to cover their own trail.

Unfortunately, their trail got progressively messier with each successive season. The team certainly concerned itself with ridding the streets of dangerous drugs, guns and gang members, but they also were constantly looking out for opportunities for themselves in the midst of loose money and favors.

Season 2 was my favorite year in this regard as it was a white-knuckle ride from start to finish and found the team taking on an illegal Armenian money train while hiding it from the department. It was a phenomenal and brutal ride that would resonate through the end of the series.

One of the show's strengths was allowing the Strike Team's sins to constantly be re-visited, a stance which forced Mackey to remain on edge as he tried to keep his family and his friends on the Strike Team safe from being caught. Mackey's ability to remain a few steps ahead of his pursuers both on the street and inside the police department only enhanced his appeal for me.

I could appreciate someone who was at least smart about breaking the law versus some bumbling moron who deserved to be caught.

This was another fine quality of the show as it blurred the lines around which characters viewers should be rooting for to triumph. Despite his many sins, I found myself constantly pulling for Mackey to make it through the muck even when he certainly deserved to get busted.

Each successive season found the Strike Team embroiled even deeper in trying to save their own asses, and by the final season, it had become apparent that no matter how many smart and resourceful methods that Mackey tried that the deck had been stacked too far against the group for them to win.

It was simply a matter of trying not to shatter everything.

Outside of the Strike Team, the show also benefited from a cast of regulars and guest stars who provided no weak links. CCH Pounder, Glen Close, Forest Whitaker and numerous others were capable foils for Mackey even though many found themselves pulled down to his level when chasing him.

The pursuit built nicely during the series, and this final season kept the momentum high. Unlike many shows, "The Shield" ended its run well. The quality and catharsis climaxed with the extended finale with nearly all threads coming together for a satisfyingly bleak conclusion.

The only missteps in the last episode was focusing too much attention on a former police captain's run for mayor, but that is a minor complaint because so many shows absolutely butcher their final moments. "The Shield" didn't sully itself one bit.

Instead, it exited the same way it entered the television landscape: With gritty production value, stellar acting, and a perverted sense of justice that was powerfully addictive.

I don't generally care for cop shows. Police procedurals do next to nothing to hold my attention. I loved "The Shield" and it will definitely be missed.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 05, 2008 20 comments

"'Cause I'm a karate man, see! And a karate man bruises on the inside! They don't show their weakness. But you don't know that because you're a big Barry White looking motherfucker!" - Eddie Murphy, "Trading Places"

It's always nice to recall a time when Eddie Murphy was funny. It's been at least 10 years since that was the case, but for awhile, he was at the top of the charts. I'm not feeling particularly humorous as I have a holiday party to attend tonight, and all I want to do is anything but that.

Oh well, I believe I'm well enough to pour some alcohol down my throat, but before I dress up and find the bar, let's look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Star Magazine recently reported that Jamie Lynn Spears is fearful that the liposuction she had while pregnant could have caused long-term harm to baby Maddie.

In the Dec. 15 issue of the magazine, 'Star' reported that Jamie Lynn had just finished her Nickelodeon show "Zoey 101" when she started gaining weight, and not realizing she was expecting, she asked her mom to let her get liposuction.

"She didn't know she was pregnant when she filled out the health questionnaire prior to the procedure," a second source reveals. "Her mom approved the injections and went through tons of red tape to get the clinic to administer them to an underage patient."

Spears denied the accusations and is considering suing the magazine.

Spears is also considering a suit against the doctors involved because they might have sucked out part of her brain as well.

Alex Rodriguez and Madonna spent time together recently in Mexico City where the pop star was performing. When asked what he thought about being in the city at the same time as Madonna, Rodriguez said it was "very good," without elaborating.

He then made the universal sign of putting his index finger through a hole formed by his other hand and smirked, but refused to comment.

Winona Ryder is said to be under investigation by the authorities in Madrid, Spain after being accused of losing $125,000 of diamonds loaned to her.

The actress was given a Bulgari diamond encrusted bracelet and ring to wear for a Marie Claire magazine party last weekend, but she later reported the items missing after giving them to the staff of a Madrid hotel for safekeeping. But the hotel management claims they have no surveillance footage that shows the star handing over the jewels.

The hotel does, however, have footage of Ryder slipping them into her purse and running for the door, which might hurt her case.

Lawyers for Roman Polanski, a fugitive for 30 years in a notorious sex case involving a 13-year-old girl, filed a request Tuesday to dismiss the charge against him because of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

The suit cites a documentary about the filmmaker released earlier this year which showed "a pattern of misconduct and improper communications" between the district attorney's office and the judge in Polanski's case.

Poland-born Polanski, 75, has been living in France in self-imposed exile from the United States since fleeing in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

If the suit goes to trial, Polanski plans to call R. Kelly as his chief character witness.

Patrick Swayze lashed out at tabloid reports claiming he is losing his fight against pancreatic cancer.

Says Swayze: "They're reporting that I'm on my last legs and saying goodbye to my tearful family! ... It's upsetting that the shoddy and reckless reporting from these publications cast a negative shadow on the positive and good fight I'm fighting."

I'm glad that Swayze is winning his battle, but he went a little too far when he stated that ". . . And if you want to see great fighting, then just go rent "Road House."

Kirsten Dunst's assistant recently performed a citizen's arrest on a man who bypassed security and showed up at the actress' Hollywood home in November. Dunst was not home at the time.

Dunst later sought a restraining order against Christopher Smith after his arrest, stating that she is "quite frightened" of him.

Dunst also said that she is "quite disappointed" in Tobey Maguire, aka Spider Man, for his inability to save her.

Heidi Montag's mom said this week that she is less than pleased with her daughter's elopement to Spencer Pratt.

"I think it's the biggest mistake Heidi's ever made," Darlene Egelhoff told "US Weekly"

Egelhoff gives the marriage "six months" to last and also said about Pratt: "He's manipulative and seems to have power over Heidi," she said. "I would like to see a blood test from Mexico. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had her drugged."

At least there seems to be one intelligent member of the Montag household.

As always, let's end with a gold image (s):

These aren't exactly Christmas colors, but I guess a little patriotic red, white and blue will have to do. So, don't be constricted by color schemes today, know that bold lingerie choices are usually a fine thing and . . . Happy Friday!


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