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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, February 09, 2007

Ask James Anything

I'm trying to write some news, and therefore I have no nuggets of inspiration or exhortations or culture critiques to share on this blog right now.

But I will answer questions. If folks respond and have fun with it, I'll do this once a week. Not to say my opinion on anything but the price of beans in China counts for anything. And I'm no J. Carson. I don't have any answers in hermetically sealed envelopes.

But seriously, ask me anything about pretty much anything: the news biz, the differences in newspaper, TV, and radio reporting, me, politics, music, movies, romance, how to get the girl/guy of your dreams, sports, loserdom, geekdom, nerddom, how I stay so pretty, the weather. You name it. Almost no topic is off limits. And if you stumble across the one or two off-limits topics, I'll gently remind you, and we'll all happily move on.

OK, so fire away. I'll even take jokey joke questions. And if I don't know the answer, I'll find it.

Don't embarrass me now. I don't want to look at this blog when I get home from work and see I only got one question. I've told my overlords that you guys are reading this thing. Prove me right, or else they'll beat me, banish me to reporting celebutant news, and make me eat sewer rats. Tell a friend. Or this will be the first and last Ask James Anything Friday.

I'll answer the questions. But otherwise I have to work on my book tonight. So there probably won't be another new post till tomorrow morning. Till then, peace and hair grease.

***UPDATE*** You guys who read me regularly know I'm not uptight or afraid of any topic. So I don't want anyone discouraged from asking a question out of hyper-PC fear. Ask away, and if your question is too "naughty" for a PG-13 blog I'll just say so in my reply. No big deal. The only off-limits questions, really, are about Mrs. B, unless you're asking about her health. And in that case I'll save you the trouble: she's doing well and recovering nicely.

Also, I'll save you the trouble on this: Yes, I am the father of Anna Nicole's baby.

Labels:

73 Comments:

  • how did i miss yesterday's post here, james? *vbs*

    (excellent piece, sir..well said)

    By Blogger savannah, at 2:59 PM  

  • Thanks Savannah. Clever way to fit that question in there. But that's not fair. I have no idea how to answer that one. But I'll guess. You missed it 'cause unlike the rest of us you were hard at work during the daytime hours.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 3:19 PM  

  • Do you see a pervasive left wing bias in the mainstream media?

    By Blogger Hammer, at 3:22 PM  

  • Dear James,

    I am a 31 year-old man still in "the game." Recently, my hair stylist suggested I "do color" to get rid of some grey hairs at the temple.

    I cannot imagine myself sitting in the salon with tinfoil in my hair. How do you feel about Just For Men hair care products?

    --Grey Goose

    By Blogger Matt, at 3:28 PM  

  • What made you choose print media?

    By Blogger Winter, at 3:30 PM  

  • Would an orange still be an orange if it had a different color? These are the things I ponder.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 3:53 PM  

  • Hammer, fascinating question. This may come as no surprise to you since I'm writing from the inside, but I don't see that bias. I won't deny that I see regular individual examples of that bias (not at my paper), but the key word there is individual. If you took the handful of MSM journalists who give undebatebly biased reports on a regular basis, you have to consider it's been estimated that there are roughly 50,000 people in full-time news biz jobs in the U.S. I can say with a straight face that regardless of their personal feelings I believe most of my colleagues are pretty neutral in their reporting - the facts, just the facts.

    Matt, go with the Just for Men. You can do it at home and not have to worry about your buddies happening by on the sidewalk and seeing you through the window of the salon, with tin foil in your hair.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 3:59 PM  

  • Winter, I chose print 'cause in college I dabbled in TV, and I worked a part-time job at night at a news radio station. Both were fun sometimes. But one day with my radio station I got the rare opportunity to cover a murder trial during the day involving two students from my campus. I was so excited and spent nearly a week recording audio and editing it down for my report. But I was naieve. And at the end of that week the news director told me I had about 90 seconds to tell the story. I wasn't even able to scratch the surface in that amount of time. So I decided then I'd go with print 'cause I knew if I had a good enough topic and wrote about it well then my editors would give me enough space to really get into the nitty gritty of the story.

    DD, now I'm gonna be up all night pondering the same thing, like I did earlier in the week over the lack of monkey beards. I'll do you one better. Is there another color that is also a flavor?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:10 PM  

  • I often feel the urge to sing and dance. I feel this urge everywhere...at work, at the park , grogery shopping and especially while showering. What can I do to control this?
    PS I just started a anti-depressant and I also quit smoking two months ago, do you think either of those things have anything to do with the urge to do jazz hands?

    By Anonymous ailingmaokitty, at 4:18 PM  

  • Hmmm, ailingmaokitty, I'm thinking I should have limited the field of questions. Me and my big mouth. Or, wait a minute. I'm typing, not talking. So would that be me and my big hands? Anyway, I digress. I'm gonna guess that if you just started doing jazz hands since you started taking your anti-depressant maybe there's a correlation. If there's a doctor in the house maybe they can help with this one. I say go find your nearest Fred Astaire Dance Studio and work it out.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:28 PM  

  • You're working on a book? How often/long do you work on it a day/week?

    By Anonymous chris, at 4:32 PM  

  • Chris, I'm working on a couple. But this one is non-fiction, and so it is requiring more research than my "imaginary" stuff. I probably work on it twice a week for about three hours a night. I used to do more, but it's pointless to make yourself so tired that you can't function and think clearly. So now I limit it to like two nights per week.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:42 PM  

  • How DO you stay so pretty???

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 4:54 PM  

  • Erica, like I always say: orange juice and the occasional cigar.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:55 PM  

  • OK folks. I have to run out of the office for a bit, but when I get back here or get home later I'll keep answering questions, so write on.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:56 PM  

  • -Can I get a personalized autographed copy of your book (first one that gets published)?

    -How can I get a job with the Herald writing fantasy football columns?

    -You can drink Armando Salguero AND Dave Barry under the table, can't you?

    -How can I get a press pass so I can enter local sporting events for free?

    -What was your favorite movie of 2006? Book? Album?

    -What sport would you say you're the best at?

    -Is it ok for me to ask more than one question like this?

    By Blogger The Dude, at 4:56 PM  

  • James: Do you drink milk? If so, 2%, whole or skim?

    Actually I do have another question but I have a feeling it may be one of those off limits ones, so I'll keep it to myself and wait for an update, should you offer one.

    (And thanks for your comment by the way. Hope you get a chance to drop by and read my reply.)

    Have a great weekend!

    By Blogger Freddie, at 5:04 PM  

  • James,

    Oldie but a goody...why is it ONE bra and a PAIR of panties?

    By Blogger Kevin, at 5:05 PM  

  • How did you get to be so Jameselicious? Ha ha! Sorry, I couldn't resist. How 'bout this instead:

    You write a blog that is about Urban Etiquette. What did somebody do to you or to a loved one that caused you to want to start this blog?

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 5:18 PM  

  • What's your biggest pet peeve concerning urban etiquette? (ex: one of mine is people who stand right in front of the elevator and push on before the folks INSIDE can get out.)

    By Blogger fiwa, at 5:57 PM  

  • Do you think it's possible for some of these pundits who have also claimed at different times in their lives to be journalists, like Bill Kristol, to ever be wrong enough that the cable news channels will actually stop presenting them as "experts" on anything?

    Also..

    When a source, such as a gov't official, give you a tip on a story and it turns out to be false, do you ever REALLY want to burn that source. I mean, out him or her as the source of the false story? I ask because I see a lot of this going on in a lot of newpapers and the writers always hang in there and don't burn the source who was obviously just using them to put out some propoganda. This doesn't just happen in politics, and celebrites. It happens A LOT in sports too.

    Thanks

    By Blogger Jay, at 6:12 PM  

  • I do feel the need to ask something off limits...

    Seriously...you have no idea how difficult it is for me to stop myself... ;)

    Okay, fine...I won't.

    Just how do you stay so pretty? ;)

    Steve~

    By Blogger Steven Novak, at 6:13 PM  

  • Wait someone already went that route...okay...

    How do you stay so...not pretty? ;)

    Steve~

    By Blogger Steven Novak, at 6:14 PM  

  • See you are way too nice with your answers. I love having them know that I am about to ream them a new one. Thanks for stopping by the other day!

    Sadly I don't have a question right now except maybe you can tell what that burning itching sensation is every time I ...meh nevermind.

    By Blogger Dallas DYSfunction, at 6:14 PM  

  • james...it was a cheat, i know, i couldn't resist! *s* i like the idea "Ask James" i'll have a serious question next friday!

    By Blogger savannah, at 6:36 PM  

  • Living in Miami, you must know a thing or two about Cubans. What feeling , if any, do you get about what Cuban-Americans are feeling and thinking right now in regards to the current shitty (literally, on every level) situation?

    By Blogger cucuclaire, at 7:03 PM  

  • Do I have time to make popcorn before this show starts?

    By Blogger SWF41, at 7:05 PM  

  • Are you friends with Dave Barry? And does he make you pee your pants in real life? Cuz he makes me pee mine in pretend life.

    By Blogger Lee, at 7:10 PM  

  • The Dude had multiples, so he gets his own answer box.

    Dude, in order:
    -Yes, I'll make sure you get a personalized autographed copy.
    -I don't know, but I'll email you a name/contact info from a sports editor and he/she can tell you whether they have an interest or opening for such a position and what the requirements would be.
    -I don't know. Those guys are pros.
    -Get a gig with a local news outlet as a sports person or convince the venue where a particular sport is played that you're such a prolific blogger and your blog draws so much traffic that they have to consider you a sort of alt. news outlet.
    -Casino Royale, Head Case: How I almost lost my mind trying to understand my brain, John Legend - Once Again.
    -basketball (don't say it!)
    -Yes!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:32 PM  

  • Freddie, I don't drink much milk. Don't know why, but I've lost my taste for it over the years, unless it's part of a milkshake or something. But when I do drink it I do skim.

    And Freddie, ask away. I'm gonna update this post to make clear that I'm not uptight. But you know that. Really, my only off-limits questions are about Mrs. B, unless folks are asking about her health. Otherwise, I'll take 'em all. And it's something that'll get me in trouble w/the bosses if I answer too bluntly, then I'll just say so in my reply. No worries. You've got me curious now. I want to see that question!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:44 PM  

  • Kevin, that is one of the great mysteries of life: two breastesses and one behind. Bra is just short for the singular word brassiere. That whole pair thing though? Two common theories are that undies have two leg holes, like pants have two legs, etc., thus the "pair" of... I've also read that in garment factories back in the day pants, shorts, etc., were assembled in two pieces.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:50 PM  

  • Sarc, very funny. The answer to my Jamesaliciousness lies in my milkshake. Or, like I told Erica, orange juice and cigars.

    As for the creation of this blog, I wasn't traumatized as a child or anything. I'm just easily annoyed with stupid people. I am the real-life, younger version of Becker, may that wonderful sitcom rest in peace.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:53 PM  

  • Fiwa, I have two: people who swear loudly in crowded public places, and people who abuse their cell phone usage - whether by weaving over the road 'cause they're not paying attention, or talking too loudly on 'em in crowded confined quarters, or letting them ring on without answering just to show off the fancy ring tone, or playing music on 'em like Walkmans but without the headphones.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:56 PM  

  • Jay, even if the pundits keep getting it wrong they'll keep getting invited on the air as long as they're "exciting," meaning they can give ballsy opinions without a hint of doubt. Seriously, they just have to keep saying they're experts and make it believable to keep on the network payroll. If one outright lies or says some outrageous stuff I'm sure they'd get fired...unless they're that Washington Post/NBC News analyst who called American troops mercenaries and suggested they were getting undeserved perks. Nothing seems to be happening to that guy.

    As for the sourcing thing, I think most of us don't want to out sources - even those who lead us astray - 'cause we don't want to scare off potential future sources. There'll always be that source who gives you info in good faith and it turns out to be bad info. Don't want him worrying that he's gonna get outed for making a mistake. It's not political, but when I covered crime I regularly had to assure my secret cop sources that I wouldn't bust 'em - with my editor's blessing, of course - 'cause if they were found to have given me info without clearing it through the police chief's office they could get fired. So if I used something from a secret source like that, to cover my own behind I'd make it clear in the article that a secret source "intimately familiar with the details of the investigation" said such and such, but that info had not yet been cleared through the chief's office.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:02 PM  

  • Steven, like I told Freddie, don't be skerred. Ask away. If your question is one that'll raise the bosses' eyebrows I'll say so in my reply. No big deal. Only off limit questions really are any about Mrs. B, unless it's about her health. And the answer to that is she's recovering well.

    And don't fall for the hype. I really am this pretty. It ain't just the photo.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:04 PM  

  • Ha! Dallas D., you're funny. I definitely don't have an answer to that one, except prayer and penicilin. I can refer you to a good "secret" doctor I heard about.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:05 PM  

  • Savannah, I'm gonna hold you to it next week.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:06 PM  

  • Claire, you mean the situation with Cuba and Castro, like is he or isn't he on the verge of croaking? The Cubans I know personally, on both sides of the political spectrum, just seem frustrated. They're anxious to see the dictator gone and for people on the island to finally get a chance to move into a new phase and give Democracy a try.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:08 PM  

  • SWF41, run and make the popcorn, but come back with another question too.

    I'll be waiting.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:08 PM  

  • Lee, I'm not friends with Dave Barry. But that's not 'cause he isn't friendly. He's very friendly. But he's formally retired from the Herald, and only writes his column occasionally and on special occasions these days. So he doesn't come around the newsroom too often. But I've been reading his column regularly since I was in middle school. And he's been cracking me up ever since then. I've never pee'd myself over it though.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:10 PM  

  • Dear James:

    How do you keep your skin looking so fresh and young? You look so, well, pretty while my skin is becoming wrinkled and worn. I have tried everything from lotions to the blood of pygmy goats and nothing seems to work.

    Sign me,
    Just wanna be pretty like James

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 10:05 PM  

  • The last time you let everyone ask questions, you couldn't answer mine about retarded people and driving. Please, don't disappoint me this time.

    I recently received a gift of a compass for my car. I stuck the suction cup to my windshield. I cannot ask anyone this, because I don't want them to know that I'm a moron.

    Does it matter which way I stick the compass to the windshield? It I stuck it to the dash would it be okay, or would I be going the opposite direction? If I drive in a circle really quickly, will it spin all the way around? Why does it matter if I'm traveling east or west when all I really need to know is if I should turn left or right? And most importantly, does a compass remind you a little bit of an eyeball swimming around in a drunk girl's head?

    Did I ask too many questions?

    By Blogger mist1, at 10:25 PM  

  • Queen, it ain't easy being this pretty. But fine, I'll take the bluff. Though I've alluded to orange juice and cigars - both of which are tasty, just like animals - I have to go with a cliche. I moisturize...a lot, and with the real stuff. No Ben Stiller lotion for me.

    And Mist1, I'll try not to disappoint this time. He he he he. I just finished reading your question. You were not any sort of science major, I can tell. Ha ha ha ha ha! OK, I'm done snickering. I swear. So the answer is no, it doesn't matter which way you stick the compass. The needle will point the right direction, regardless, unless it is a cheap, dollar store compass. And trust me, when you're driving in an area you're not familiar with trying to find an address you've never seen before that North/South/East/West can be waaaay more handy than some hand scribbled (or even printed out) directions that say turn left here or turn right there. Look at it this way. One wrong turn or one overshoot of a turn and those paper directions are that much less useful. And the compass ball sort of reminds me of the lazy eye on one of my giant grade school bullies from back in the day. I used to hope on a regular basis that his wonky eye would prevent him from seeing me well enough to hit me. I never got my wish.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:37 PM  

  • James, what are your books about? you said that one is non fiction.. what about the fiction one???

    tell me one silly secret thing that you allow yourself to indulge in that most people think is just too cheesy. :P

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 12:50 AM  

  • Which do you prefer, Star Wars or Star Trek? How you answer this question will have no bearing on how I feel about you as a writer or as a person. I'm just curious.

    I'm also still anxiously waiting for your answers to your 1/19/2007 post.

    By Blogger captain corky, at 1:28 AM  

  • Okay fess up. YOU are the one the diaper wearing astronaut lady was going after aren't you. Come on now you can admit it.

    BD

    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 1:46 AM  

  • did your mom believe in spanking?

    By Blogger Pamela, at 2:20 AM  

  • "I'll save you the trouble on this: Yes, I am the father of Anna Nicole's baby."

    Yeah? Who isn't.

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 8:15 AM  

  • Thanks James, I know that Florida isn't typical of the left coast, but I just wanted to get your take from the inside.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 8:40 AM  

  • Yas, I have one fiction work that's an old-school murder mystery, and one is a tongue-in-cheek fiction story about a reporter who stumbles onto a story that almost gets him killed.

    I have so many silly things about me. Maybe that I have to watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force every night?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:15 AM  

  • Captain, I'm more a Star Trek kind of guy, and while overall I prefer the original series I still think Picard was a better commanding officer than Kirk. And I swear, I'll do a post on the political leanings question soon. I will try within the next two or three days.

    Briliant, it was me. Between her and Anna Nicole, I have been so busy. And those diapers give a rash.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:18 AM  

  • probably what many want to know....why is it so easy to gain weight but so difficult to lose????? AAH!!

    And what's this I hear about Miami being on the fattest city list??? What's going on down there??

    By Blogger Claudia, at 10:42 AM  

  • Ok. Here's one: Was there any particular person or event that inspired you to go into journalism, or what it something you just always wanted to do?

    By Anonymous Freddie, at 12:15 PM  

  • oops. "..was it.."

    By Anonymous Freddie, at 12:16 PM  

  • What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? Are you doing something special for Mrs B?

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 1:12 PM  

  • Pamela, yes, my folks spanked me. Beat me like I stole something. Kidding...about the beating part. But they did believe in spanking.

    Sarc, Michael Jackson isn't the father, and neither is Anna Nicole's svengali attorney/boyfriend/husband guy.

    Hammer, no worries. There are times I wish we could have cameras on us at work so people could be privvy to how things are done. I think it would go a long way in proving that the far-left bias thing is not super widespread and really not as common as some people think.

    Claudia, a lot of bad weight we gain is in the form of fat, which is not that easy to burn, compared to lean mass and water weight.

    And Freddie, I know you're still holding back ;-) No way this was a question you were afraid to ask yesterday. But no problem, it's an easy one. I was inspired to become a news writer for three reasons: I find writing incredibly easy and fun and rewarding and enjoyable the way some people find their favorite hobbies. I really am blessed that I can do something I love this much and get paid for it. And I knew in high school and college that words, and not numbers, were my cup of tea. Also I was inspired by a pattern of reporting in my hometown paper in which it seemed the only time I saw guys who looked like me on the front page was when they were wearing orange jump suits or in cuffs. And I knew I wasn't the only young black man who wasn't on the wrong side of the law. So I kind of wondered why more of us didn't make the news. I figured I could help usher in a more enlightened 'tude from the inside.

    The third reason was a professor - Joe Cosco, a journalism professor and former reporter for my hometown paper. I had a lot of self doubt when I started studying for this. I'd just transferred into ODU from a local community college. I was actually studying engineering, and I needed to start transitioning to a writing focus. I got my academic advisor to wave a requirement and get me into an advanced editorial writing class. The funny thing is unlike most of my classmates I had no idea who Cosco was. So when class started I didn't suck up to him. I didn't know that I was "supposed" to. Anyway, one of our first assignments was to debate with Joe in class about current events - abortion, politics, etc. Well, no one would argue with him 'cause people hoped if they sucked up enough he'd help hook 'em up with internships. I figured I had nothing to lose so I dove in. After our first or second class period he pulled me aside and we took a walk. He took me to the school paper and introduced me to people there, told me I had a voice, and said with a little formal training I could really use it well. So Joe really, really convinced me I could do this.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:55 PM  

  • My comments seem to be eaten everywhere today.
    Anyway, to repeat what I said earlier that didn't appear--how do you keep your equanimity in the face of egregious bad etiquette?
    Fresh squeezed or concentrate?

    By Anonymous Kim, at 5:23 PM  

  • JB,
    Very touching story about your prof. Every one of us who climbs the mountain of success in anything has a person in our past who shed light and guided us on the path.

    My question is this: As a writer who is employed by a large media corporation (unfortunately, I do not know the extent of McClatchy's holdings in the print or broadcast media or other businesses, who controls their board of directors, or the market share of any of those businesses they may control), what do you feel is the level of influence large advertisers, sister corporations, or unspoken principles have over the daily content McClatchy presents to the public as reliable information?

    I ask this because I know I am not alone in believing that most news dissemination organizations like dailies and nightly newsies (as opposed to news gatherering clearinghouses like Reuters, UPI, and AP) tailor the stories they retransmit to promote an acceptance and embrace of corporate oligarchical worldwide control of humanity through dangling trinkets, credit, and fear (or, as I call it, the World According to the Rupert the Fiend).

    I know I always go off the deep end in my conclusions and I may have here, but that's because my only experience with reporting has been as a writer for a weekly college rag and bimonthly journal. Both chose content without much concern for profit, but made money. It seems once profit becomes paramount, the truth and the willingness to tell it at any expense takes a backseat to the wallet (and the soul).

    So tell me if I'm wrong, at least about your paper. As I've said before, you're not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 5:42 PM  

  • Here's a light one. What's your favorite movie of all time and why?

    By Blogger Dan, at 6:46 PM  

  • Kim, I don't always keep my cool. I lose it when I'm on the road and see some example of horrible, rude, unsafe driving. I swear I didn't have anything close to road rage before I moved to South Florida. But when I see poor etiquette and bad manners in other places and circumstances I just sort of fume inside and wear a really good poker face. So I don't explode I talk about it with friends, my wife, and you all, my blog friends, later.

    And I love fresh-squeezed, but it's expensive. So most of the time I get concentrate.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 6:59 PM  

  • You would love Houston traffic, too. During the year I drove to the Galleria (a onehour drive one way with no traffic, two-three on the way back)every day for work, I became oblivious. Just to mentally survive. Other than swerving when needed, you had to, otherwise you'd go crazy.

    By Anonymous Kim, at 8:02 PM  

  • BD, there's always the rumor that advertisers affect news content. They try. But as a rule it doesn't happen. We have to be transparent. We cover up for one advertiser who happens to turn up in the middle of story, and whatever credibility we have left these days is shot. That's not to say that advertisers don't try, especially those spending the big bucks. No ongoing conspiracy, but it happens. Internally, there is an invisible wall between divisions - not just at the Miami Herald or at the other McClatchy newspapers. The news side doesn't try to influence the ad sales dept. Marketing doesn't try to influence news. Different divisions collaborate to promote the product, the newspaper, but no strong-arming. For example, it wouldn't be uncommon for a boss from the newsroom to alert marketing that a major reporting project is going to run in the paper a week from now. That's just smart business. Marketing in turn may design a promo campaign around that major article and put ads hyping it in the paper, or put up billboards or posters. As far as ad influence goes though, advertisers have been known to try. At my last newspaper, when I was still on the cops/crime beat a prosecutor acquaintance told me about the son of a local businessman being busted and charged with sex assault. It came out in the criminal complaint that he was also making freaky porn (trust me, that's not redundant in this case) in his family's basement wearing a super hero suit - Batman, I think. No way I wasn't gonna report that. So I write an article. The businessman gets wind of it and calls the ad department at the paper and tells them that he spends a lot of money advertising in the paper and he doesn't like the idea of me doing a story about his kid. Well an ad account exec calls the newsroom and drops not so subtle hints about how my article could hurt revenue and tries to get me to tell her details of my article before it runs in the paper. I tell my boss. He calls her boss. She gets blasted hard for crossing that line and is disciplined. Had it been up to me she would've been fired. In case you're wondering, my article ran without any changes.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:07 PM  

  • Dan, that's a really tough question. I'd have to think about that one for days. But off the top of my head I'd say "A Bronx Tale" is pretty high on the list. Not to sound too corny, but the movie demonstrates hope, and I don't mean on some giant national worldly scale. I mean hope among the little guy, the Average Joe and Jane. It portrays a time in this country (1960s)where regular Joes were trying to make a buck, racial tensions were high, and people on all sides were just trying to get by and survive. And in the midst of all that a young boy - the narrator - grows up and learns the value of hard work from his highly principled but broke father and the value of street smarts from the neighborhood mobster he admires. And he overcomes those tensions and temptations and evolves into a wise young man. The way the story unfolds moves me.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:17 PM  

  • What is love? ;p

    By Blogger Irene, at 12:43 AM  

  • is it possible for a baby to have 23 dads? if so, i think that's the case with the ANS baby.

    By Blogger Brooklyn Frank, at 11:53 AM  

  • "A bronx tale' Great movie. I love the 'see if a girl reaches over to unlock your door' test and in fact I used to use it. Kind of annoyed me when I realized my mustang only has the push button to unlock thing so it eliminated that test.

    BD

    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 1:22 PM  

  • Ha ha, Irene, you would give me the hardest question of all. If I knew the answer to that I'd be out buying lottery tickets now 'cause I'd be a mind-reader and know the future, etc. But I'll just say love is unconditional. I realize that technically my answer could be to the question of "how" love is. But I think unconditional also describes how love is supposed to be applied. I know I dodged it a little ;-)

    Brooklyn Frank, I'm beginning to think that is possible.

    BD2, I gotta confess. I've tried the door lock test before. And I swear, maybe it was just coincidence, but in those cases where my date "failed" the test things didn't work out. I didn't try the test with my wife, 'cause when we met I was driving a truck with electric locks.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 5:04 PM  

  • How do you stay so pretty?

    By Blogger C, at 9:20 PM  

  • Potatoes or Stove Top stuffing?

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 11:10 PM  

  • JB,
    Thanks for the clarification. I think it's important for the people who run the fourth estate to clearly define their wants and needs so that we the public can make an informed decision about consumption of their product. Some people may not care about how they're being informed, but I care about them. I know you do, too.

    So keep on pushin' the pen, champ, and I'll keep reading. See you on the front page or the bestseller list, pop. Or, hopefully, on both.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 11:33 PM  

  • C, I can't give away all my beauty secrets. So I'll repeat the ones I've already admitted: lots of orange juice, the occasional cigar, and lots of moisterizer.

    Grizz, depends on how the potatoes are prepared. I'm partial to whipped and mashed, baked, and diced & seasoned. If they're not made like that I might go for the Stove Top.

    BD, no worries. Glad I could answer. And I'll take your good wishes on the Best Seller list. But out of the 1,200 or so articles I've written in the past 9 or 10 years a good 25% of 'em have been on the front page. Just wish that I get there more often, and I'll be happy.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:44 PM  

  • Holy Comments, Batman. I'm a little late to the party, but this is an important one: Are you a good tipper?

    Don't let me down, Sport.

    By Blogger 123Valerie, at 12:11 AM  

  • 123Valerie, I am a great tipper. My friends and family always get on my case when we go out 'cause they feel like I'm overtipping.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:45 PM  

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