Tuesday, January 22, 2008

TV Newsy Bits (and schtuff) - Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NJ Transit, it's the way to go. Now, if people didn't sleep in public places with no expectations of privacy, people like me wouldn't take photos of them. Commuting on the NJ train lines is, for the most part, something I enjoy. I've made train friends that I see off the train, there are other regulars I don't care for so much. My train friends tend to be going back and forth from work, as am I.

The train is its own microcosm of society. There are the laborers, the office folks, the methadone clinic travelers, the conductors and ticket takers, the tourists, the teens heading into the city to be cool, and the sports fans -- right now it's the NJ Devils hockey fans takeover of the evening trains which is most notable. My train friend Donald gets nervous when I scoff the really hyped-up Devils fans.

During tonight's ride home, we had a singer. That happens a lot on the subways because they expect people to pay them. But NJ Transit has a conductor (or assistant or ticket taker) in every car and no one bums money. This singer tonight was about four seats in back of me and sang with a soulful ON KEY voice. I was amazed how well he sang, but I didn't want to turn around and look. He went from "This Train is Bound for Glory" to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" with a few other songs in between. He knew all the lyrics and it was actually sort of neat. Normally I'm not one for noise on the train, but he could sing. The conductor smiled and told me he'd stop him, but he was so good he just couldn't bear to do it.

He got off at my stop. Huh. Here I pictured a rotund black guy behind the voice and it was instead a very tall skinny older white guy with a ZZ Topp kind of beard and scraggly long white hair. As he walked through the station, he let loose with a much louder voice as if he had been holding back ... "Breakin' up big rocks on the chain gang, breakin' rocks and servin' my time. Breakin' up big rocks on the chain gang, oh lord I've been committed of a crime ..." I've never seen him before today, but I wouldn't mind if he became a regular. It was a joy to hear him sing.

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
  • Actor Heath Ledger, age 28, was found dead in the Broome Street apartment owned by Mary Kate Olsen (SoHo -- Manhattan) this afternoon. Sources are saying it looks like it might be a drug overdose. What a shame ...
  • Tonight will be the San Diego auditions for American Idol. I'll be setting up an East Coast Update post on it approximately 8 PM ET. As always, your comments are welcome. I bet the train singer was better than any we'll see tonight, but I fear he's probably about 40 years too old.
  • People asked how many entries I got for the book giveaway. Well, I went back and counted them -- 58. If I receive anything of interest, I could very well do this again. Hmmm ... maybe a few of my screeners I've received from networks?
  • There's a plethora of Amazing Race interviews, some audio out and about. Buddy TV has an audio interview with Ronald and Christina while Reality TV World has a non-audio interview with them. TK and Rachel were interviewed here, and here, and here. There are more even. Yikes.
Today's musical not really non-sequitur:
This train don't carry no rustlers, this train
This train don't carry no rustlers, this train
This train don't carry no rustlers,
Sidestreet walkers, two bit hustlers,
This train is bound for glory, this train
-- "This Train is Bound for Glory" by Woody Guthrie


Delee said...

I was shocked when I opened CNN's home page and saw the news about Heath Ledger. What a waste of a life!

Loved your subway ride entry...nice to see what happens while you ride.

WOW 58 entries, yes lets do it again.

joy n said...

Jackie, although many early reports about Keith Ledger's death said that the apartment he lived in was owned by Mary Kate Olsen, her rep is saying she does not, and never has owned that apartment.

Also, they will do an autopsy tomorrow to determine cause of death. The NYPD states he was found with bottles of prescription and non-prescription sleeping pills around his body. It is unknown if his death was an accidental overdose or suicide.

What a terrible shame. He was a very talented, handsome actor of 28. He had a beautiful 2 year old daughter with Michelle Williams, his co-star in Brokeback Mountain.

My heart goes out to his family. That is much too young an age to die for whatever reason.

monty924 said...

I agree with all. I posted this over on the other link earlier...

Just heard that Heath Ledger was found dead at his home. That's a sad loss of a huge talent. I loved him in Ten Things I Hate About You! :(

joy n said...

Just read on TMZ that a family rep for the Ledger family has said that Keith would not commit suicide because he was not that kind of person. It was also said that Keith was ill with pneumonia at the time of his death.

Anonymous said...

Heath Ledger seemed like such a down to earth solid young actor...
if this was a suicide, I will never understand it...what a waste...

Anonymous said...

joy n-
It's Heath not Keith

sharon said...

So sad to hear of this death of a young,promising talent. So often these actors get so caught up in the fame and then suffer such lows when they aren't in the spotlight at all times. I hope it was an accident,but what an unfortunate thing to happen. I feel so bad for his little one and his family. He will be missed.

Sydney said...

I highly doubt suicide is behind Health Ledger's tragic death yesterday. He loved his little girl and had so much interest in growing more as an actor, and had a new girlfriend.

He'd just finished shooting in London and had flown back exhausted, had been having lots of trouble sleeping while doing his role of a mentally twisted joker in Batman just previous to London's role. I hate to see how the fact that he had an Ambien bottle, like so many people I know do, near his bed means anything.

We are hearing he had pneumonia, which, coupled with extended exhaustion and an overseas flight, after months of physcially and mentally taxing work, may have combined to do something to his young body. Happens to apparently healthy, young atheletes all the time. We just have to wait and see.

I hate to see how the media has gotten on this morning and wildly thrown around the few details we know to create far more drama and specualtion toward the dark side than may be here. This is how it all happens. In politics, with disasters, and accidental deaths. The tragedy and surprise should be story enough, and they should wait til we get a report with the real facts, which will be about 48 hours more. Hard to wish that someone rest in PEACE when the gossip mill starts. I for one am starting to have a real desire to turn that process around.

Tom` S said...

I'm speechless over the loss of Heath Ledger, My daughter loved his 2001 movie a Knights Tale filmed in Czech Republic, she watched Knights Tale over and over, we begin hiding the Knights movie, however each
Christmas we would wrap the movie ( Knights Tale ) as a joke, she'd then receive it as a gift, I was feeling a sense of DajaVu, prior to Christmas I commented lets break this DaJaVu, after I viewed Ledgers movie " I'm not there " In Nov 2007, his performance gave me chills, I couldn't shake this eerie feeling, This past Christmas was the first time we didn't wrap Knights tale. This is a great loss for Hollywood movie industry.


Tom`S said...

Sydney, I agree with your comments, last year I became extremely busy, I literally felt, didn't have time to sleep, I begin having flu like symptoms, I was afraid to consume any type decongestants, eventually I had agreed to take a anti anxiety ( Xanax ) I have a family member who is in the Medical Field, they had actually recommended, I do not sleep/nap during the afternoon hours, unless there was someone present, if I snored they should awaken me immediately, my daughter said I was snoring so loud one night she could hear me from across the house, I do believe a person can have an accidental overdose when extremely exhausted their mind falls into a " sleepy coma, Of course this is my own assessment from my own personal experience. Xanax is the only medication if I was so exhausted and had taken it for sleep, that would cause me to snore, sure funny ciggys are great too haha but then its evident in my writings. Have a great Day.

joy n said...

Sorry about the wrong name. I know his name is Heath. Don't know what I was thinking.

From what I'm hearing, I think there's a good possibility that it was an accidental overdose or possibly as Sydney said a possible bad reaction to medicine while he was very ill.

I had double pneumonia two years ago and could barely breathe. If someone had offered me a sleeping pill to sleep away some of that misery, I'd have grabbed it. I hate to think what that might have done with severe respiratory problems. I will not jump to the conclusion that it was suicide unless a coroner proves it was.

As Sydney said, the media can give bits of info any twist they want, before they know all the facts but report it all as if it were fact.

I heard his father speak of him this AM and he seemed adamant that suicide is something Heath would NOT do. Even his neighbors say he was a happy and vibrant person, who adored his two-year-old daughter.

joy n said...

There are several reports on TMZ referring to Heath Ledger's death. One states that the NY medical examiner says the autopsy was inconclusive, pending toxicology results. He says it will take 10 days to two weeks to obtain those results. He also states the death appears to be accidental.

Another report states that the NYPD says, so far, there is no evidence suggesting suicide. They also say the "operating theory" is that it was an accidental death. NYPD also reports that only two bottles of pills were found in the bedroom. One was sleeping pills and the other was anti-anxiety medicine.