July 1st, 2008


Merv Griffin's Crosswords

"Merv Griffin's Crosswords" is reportedly going on indefinite hiatus. That doesn't sound promising, but in the backlogged En household Merv is still going strong. On three occasions in the last few months, when TiVo threatened to run out of room, I cleared off MGC episodes (marked "save until I delete"). In the beginning, I actually watched but soon resorted to checking the first 2 contestants, fast-forwarding to see the spoilers enter, and immediately erasing unless there was someone I knew.

Here are my notes on dubious clues or whatever:

3/24 - Finalist was stuck on STO_S/SAIG_ (A) and was just about to get it when time ran out.

3/26 - It's somewhere in "The Greatest Story Told" (EVER)

3/27 - The three in a lounge who don't need drinks to sing (TRIO)

4/1 - Palindromic family nickname (SIS, but could have been DAD, MOM, POP)

There seems to be good camaraderie among the contestants as they switch places, patting each other on the arm or back. One guy said, "I'll be back!" but the spoiler he switched with won.

Oh look, there's:

3/28 - Pat Manzo
3/31 - winner "Janet" seemed familiar (no spoiler intros so not sure if I know her)
4/2 - nplloquacious, who I didn't know was called "Dunn." Good game, much moving around of podiums
4/21 - Elfman
5/6 - Julian Petrillo ("Word Wars" co-director)
6/? - tablesaw's mom, previously preempted in NYC for local news. She looks too young to be Tablesaw's mom.

Still no sign of Al Sanders, though there were preemptions for crane accidents and other news.

I'm melting!... and reading, and moviegoing

Fresh Direct now warns: Please Note: You may find that “light” and “fat-free” ice creams and sorbets arrive softer during our hottest months. We do our best to ensure ice cream keeps its cool in the freezer boxes of our delivery trucks, but low-fat versions do tend to melt faster than the full-fat varieties.

I guess I'm not the only one who complained about this problem, but it also happened during cooler weather. I'm back to ordering frozen items from FD on a limited basis, but no more ice cream.

Speaking of ordering, I ordered yet again from B&N. Ack! My excuse is that I received a gift card due to inaugurating my B&N credit card so I had to apply it. I stuck to deeply discounted bargain-priced items, mostly from my wish list. This list is gradually whittling down - and being added to with new items, but the net effect is subtraction.

The wish list was started during college. Thomas Cottle's "College: Reward and Betrayal" (1977) might have held more interest when I was closer to being a student, but after reading the intro and glancing at the rest, I'm returning it to the library. I renewed it (and 2 other library books) in case I don't get to a library before it's due Wednesday.

"The Burglar in the Closet" by Lawrence Block was much better. Part of a series about Manhattan burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, the story stays light and enjoyable even as the bodies pile up. I put the series in general on my wish list.

Even though summer tends to be dead time for entertainment events, I had offers for 3 different movie screenings tonight. It's still June, so maybe July and August will be dead. I had RSVP'd on 6/11 for "The Wackness" so that's where I was going. I don't think I've been in the SONY screening room since "Multiplicity" in 1996. You take one elevator to the Sky Lobby and another to the 7th floor where there's a nice screening room. Waiting there were some familiar faces from the Spirit Awards screenings. One showed me this depressing article on the state of indie films (Mark Gill, by the way, bid on a certain crossword movie at Sundance in 2006).

I don't know about the state of indie films, but the state of the cast of "The Wackness" was a stoned haze. The plot was heavily about drugs, so even though the movie was watchable, I didn't like being in even a fictional druggie environment. Afterward, I felt like I needed some air.

Since I got caught in a downpour yesterday, I brought my umbrella today, so of course it didn't rain when I was out.