Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Talking Points

I have a couple of things to share - and a piece of news to follow! Read on...

My son, Spencer, must be a great actor... Just ask Michael Savage! Anyway - As mentioned last week, Spencer made his acting debut on the stage at Camp Airy - and the folks there were kind enough to record the show and send home a DVD. Here's Spence's big scene on the lean, mean streets of New York City:

Did you hear his fellow campers cheering Spence on at the end? Way to go, Spencer!

Next we move from the stage to the screen... With the boys home from camp, the Matthews family took in WALL-E yesterday afternoon. Being Disney (and Pixar) fans, we had long been looking forward to seeing this film, which drew universal praise from critics, and has even been mentioned in some circles as a Best Picture nominee at next year's Oscars.

Oddly enough, WALL-E left me flat. I found its "green" message to be preachy and somewhat condescending, and I thought the basic story could have been told in half the time. It's almost enough (ok - it is enough) to make you believe there really IS a liberal media conspiracy out there sometimes - at least among movie critics. It also doesn't help when the Disney publicity machine kicks into overdrive... that sometimes makes it impossible to not be underwhelmed by some of its films. I felt the same way about "Finding Nemo"... Just as many say it was the best of the Pixar films, for me, Nemo lingers near the bottom... just above "A Bug's Life" and WALL-E.

Next topic - the coffee business... I find it hilarious that there are several grass-roots efforts underway to keep some of those 600 shuttered Starbucks shops open. These stores are being closed because they don't get enough business, and now, faithful customers are signing petitions and whatnot to keep the shops open... But Starbucks doesn't need to be preached to by the choir... it needs new converts... And at upwards of four bucks a cup, those converts ain't comin'... The Missus and I do not see eye to eye on this... She's a Starbucks queen... Give me a buck-39, and I'll get a 24-oz. vat o'joe at the 7-Eleven!

And speaking of the 7-Eleven... I will resume my once-daily early morning trips to the land of "Oh Thank Heaven" beginning tomorrow morning. My friends at WBAL Radio have graciously asked me to do some fill-in work for the next month - writing newscasts for my good friend, Bill Vanko, just as I once wrote them for Bryan Nehman at WMAL. I will also be anchoring the odd newscast outside of morning drive, so be sure to tune in to 1090 WBAL to hear yours truly!

I am half excited and half terrified to be going back to work. I do want a fulltime job, of course, and I had hoped it would have come long before this. I know in my heart that I will get back on the bicycle and be just fine, but there's just a pinch of irrational fear that I somehow lost 25 years of news skills in a few short months! We'll find out soon, won't we?

This blog has been a Godsend for me - giving me a voice to vent with, as well as a reason to get up and be productive every day. With my early morning work schedule (I HAVE A WORK SCHEDULE!!!), you will not find a fresh edition of "Life On The Beach" to read every morning, but please continue to check in most afternoons... I will continue to try to give you some daily nonsense to "enjoy"... Thanks to all of you for reading!

Now on to the next chapter!

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