Monthly Archives: January 2013

Picking Sunday’s winner

How much do you think Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials on TV will cost? The latest figures show close to $4 million for a 30-second spot and about $8 million for a full minute.

That comes out to about $126,666 a second. That’s Donald Trump-like money. By contrast — and inflation is a big factor here — a 30-second commercial cost $42,000 back in the late 1960s, when the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hundreds of millions are expected to watch this year’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. As in all Super Bowls, a large part of the entertainment will consist of commercials — from Mercedes Benz to Ice Breakers to Volkswagen to Toyota. Notables will include Carmen Electra for Ice Breakers and actress Kaley Cuoco for Toyota.

There might even be another “wardrobe malfunction” of the kind involving Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake in 2004. That kind of unscripted diversion — also known as Nipplegate — must have caused millions of viewers to fish out their TV remote controls just to make sure they weren’t imagining the partial, split-second disrobing of the pop singer. Continue reading

Might-have, could-have factor

Que dira la gente? What will people say? I believe my late mother, Marie, went to bed each night with that question in mind, ready to use on any or all us five Trujillo children, some six decades ago.

But to try to penetrate Mom’s thought processes necessitates a bit of background, Pay-It-Forward style. Remember the recent movie in which good deeds were paid before they became due? People were encouraged to engage in some act of kindness in the hopes it would soon bear fruit and benefit others.

Mom’s thinking — bless her heart — was a slight variation of that. But in fairness to her, let me explain, emphatically, that hers was probably like that of any other mother trying to raise an army of kids, without scandal. I hope we Trujillo children didn’t disappoint. Not much to report in that area, but we lived as if we were in the spotlight, or at least the Railroad Avenue spotlight. Continue reading

Did Musburger go too far?

Men need to be extra careful in how they regard women, even when the woman being described got where she was by being, well, attractive.

Let me explain:

The recent Bowl Championship game between the universities of Alabama and Notre Dame flopped. As it had been decades since the Fighting Irish had risen to No. 1, I thought — finally — this is their year. The trouble is, Notre Dame never showed up.

Even the presence of stellar linebacker, Manti Te’o, a 6-2, 255-pound senior for the Irish, was virtually unnoticed. Let’s not forget that he was a Heisman Trophy finalist.

The then-No. 1 college team in the nation rolled over and played dead just a few minutes into the game. A sportscaster later might have asked the Fighting Irish coach, “When did you first realize your team was in trouble?” His reply could have been: “Immediately after the National Anthem.” Continue reading

Good English gets a rest

A few columns ago, as I began systematically pulling out what little hair I have, I wrote about an on-going series of conversations taking place in my living room. We’d celebrated a Chinese gift-exchange and we were settling down to examine our presents.

What’s a Chinese gift exchange? Glad you asked: To us, it’s simply a process in which people draw numbers; the person with the lowest number selects the first wrapped gift, each person drawing according to the numbers. Those with the higher numbers, those who pick last, are allowed to trade their gift for any other gift drawn by a smaller number, and we place a limit on how many times a gift can change hands.

But sometimes we all get more involved in the logic or illogic of the process or the perceived unfairness than in the gifts themselves. And that’s what happened that Christmas, when almost a dozen first cousins, their spouses and children began the discussion.

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Be it resolved…

The seasons are confused. Where else would we the people lengthen the day, under something called Daylight Saving Time, when each day is already getting longer? Similarly, we shorten days that are already on their way to being abbreviated.

And we play a lot with the presumed ending times. Well, I’m still here, as I assume most of you are, possibly to the disappointment of the Mayans, who told us the world was about to end a couple of weeks ago. Imagine the embarrassment of some who may have believed the end was to be the next day.

So they partied, drank, caroused and let loose as if there were no tomorrow, which to them, that was a possibility. But then to have to report to work the next day … What kinds of explanations might one come up with for the previous night’s riotous behavior? I can hear it now: “But Honey, I really believed the world was ending.” Continue reading